UK private equity firm CVC Capital Partners is continuing its buying spree within the European buyout market with the acquisition of UK auto repair and car servicing chain Kwik-Fit for £330m in cash.
The deal comes hot on the heels of the acquisition of French animal feeds manufacturer Provimi for just over E200m.
CVC acquires Kwik-Fit from Ford, which had hoped to sell the UK repair chain for as much as £800m when it announced a strategic review last year. Ford, which paid £1bn for Kwik-Fit in 1999, will record a one-time, after-tax charge of approximately $500m in the third quarter of 2002 related to the sale.
Doubts had been cast over the prospects for a sale following the announcement last month that discrepancies had been exposed in Kwik-Fit’s accounts to the tune of £3.4m. Kwik-Fit had been receiving goods from suppliers but was failing to account for their cost with the resultant effect of increasing reported profits.
Ford will retain a 19 per cent stake in Kwik-Fit and remains on target to achieve $1bn in returns on the sale of its non-core assets. The sale was co-ordinated by Goldman Sachs.