Blackstone seals €440m automotive deal

The firm has picked up Alliance Automotive Group from Paris-based Weinberg Capital Partners

The Blackstone Group has acquired Alliance Automotive Group, a wholesale distributor of automotive parts in France and the UK from Paris-based mid-market firm Weinberg Capital Partners.

Financial details were not disclosed, but a source familiar with the matter told PEI that the enterprise value was €440 million.

Blackstone declined to comment, while Weinberg did not respond to a request for comment at press time.

Alliance Automotive Group has its own buying organisation and a wholesale distribution network. It has 1,500 outlets and 3,500 employees, according to a statement. Under Weinberg’s ownership, the business has grown significantly by completing more than 30 add-on acquisitions including Précisium Group and TPA in France, according to a statement. 

As a result, its sales increased to €1.2 billion in 2013 from €540 million in 2006. Alliance Automotive Group also issued a private bond last November which was syndicated to a small group of institutional investors.

Blackstone has invested in the company using capital from its $16.27 billion Blackstone Capital Partners VI, a 2011-vintage, according to source. It’s unclear how far this fund is deployed. Portfolio companies in that vehicle include shoe business Crocs, Vivint, a US-based residential security and solar energy services provider and Leica Camera, a manufacturer of premium digital cameras and sport optics.

Weinberg, which invests in mid-market buyouts in France, raised €418 million for its maiden fund in 2005. It is currently in market attempting to collect €400 million for its second vehicle, according to Private Equity International’s Research & Analytics division.