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Last Updated: Friday, 24 June, 2005, 18:34 GMT 19:34 UK
Kwik-Fit to be sold in 800m deal
Kwik-Fit site
Kwik Fit opened its first outlet in Edinburgh in 1971
Car repair company Kwik-Fit is to be sold to a French private equity firm in an 800m deal.

French buyout group PAI beat other bidders, thought to include a consortium led by tyre firm Bridgestone, to acquire the group.

Edinburgh-based Kwik-Fit was put up for sale by current private equity owner CVC Capital in April.

The group is Europe's biggest independent auto parts, repair and replacement specialist.

The company, which was launched in 1971, has more than 1,900 outlets across the UK, Netherlands, France and Germany, employing 11,000 staff. It generated turnover of 854m last year.

The deal between CVC and PAI - whose portfolio includes yoghurt maker Yoplait and United Biscuits - is subject to regulatory approval.

Expansion plans

"PAI intends to support the management team further to strengthen Kwik-Fit's leading positions in the fast-fit European market," Hamish Mackenzie, a partner at PAI, said in a statement.

PAI is planning further expansion for the group across Europe - particularly in the UK and Germany, where it trades under the name Pit-Stop.

CVC bought a controlling 70% share in the business from Ford in 2002 for 350m.

Ford bought Kwik-Fit in 1999 for 1bn and still retains a 19% stake.

Under CVC's ownership, Kwik-Fit has closed some outlets and ran its first television advertising campaign in five years in an effort to boost results.




SEE ALSO:
Bridgestone 'leads Kwik-Fit race'
03 Jun 05 |  Business
For sale sign hung over Kwik-Fit
27 Apr 05 |  Business
Kwik-Fit will be floated or sold
23 Feb 05 |  Business


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