Bridgepoint expands vehicle inspection company(3)

A-Katsastus, a Bridgepoint-backed Finnish vehicle inspection business, has made its sixth acquisition under the buyout firm’s ownership.

Bridgepoint has continued its buy-and-build strategy for Finnish vehicle inspection business A-Katsastus, acquiring Belgian rival Autoveiligheid for an undisclosed amount.

Autoveiligheid generated sales of nearly €30 million in 2006. The company undertakes more than 800,000 vehicle inspections each year and has a market share in Belgium of nearly 20 percent.

A-Katsastus has a 65 percent market share in Finland, plus operations in Denmark, Latvia, Estonia, Poland and Russia. The merged business will generate sales of €150 million.

The deal is A-Katsastus’ sixth acquisition since Bridgepoint backed the management buyout of the business in November 2005.

Bridgepoint has offices in Frankfurt, London, Luxembourg, Madrid, Milan, Paris, Stockholm and Warsaw. The firm is currently investing Bridgepoint Europe III, which closed in June 2005 on €2.5 billion.

The firm’s other investments in the sector include Forstinger, an Austrian maker of automobile accessories, which it bought in 2004, and Eurolites, an Italian manufacturer of car and truck lights, which it bought in 1998.