Kwik-Fit sold to Itochu Corporation for £637 million
The fast-fit giant has been sold for £637 million which, according to the Financial Times, includes £457 million of debt, which will be paid down in full at completion.
Itochu already owns Stapleton's Tyre Services, which has a network of over 100 centres and a substantial tyre wholesaling operation – Kwik-Fit points out that tyre wholesale is a sector that it's not involved in, so making the two businesses complementary.
Kwik-Fit, which was established in 1971, says that the deal will provide long-term stability for the business as it continues to expand its centre and mobile product base to both the corporate and retail sectors.
In recent years the firm has also branched out into offering vehicle servicing and MoT work, which is being used by a growing number of leasing firms and outright-purchase fleets.
Ian Fraser, chief executive of Kwik-Fit, is reported to be staying in his role after the completion of the deal. He commented: 'It has been a pleasure working with PAI partners over the years. Their support has been an important factor in our continuing success. We now look forward with enthusiasm to our partnership with ITOCHU and the next stage of Kwik-Fit's development.
'Despite challenging economic conditions Kwik-Fit has continued to increase sales and deliver strong operating profits and with the financial strength and synergies of its new owners ITOCHU, is well positioned for further growth.'
The deal is subject to approval by the European Competition Authorities and successful completion of the consultation process with French Works Council.