Ford to cancel Kwik-Fit auction

The US motor manufacturer is set to abandon the auction of its UK auto repair chain due to disagreements over the firm’s valuation.

The sale of Kwik-Fit, the auto repair company owned by Ford Motor, looks set to be cancelled after bids submitted by a number of European private equity firms failed to match the US motor company’s valuation.

The Daily Deal reports that Ford has opted to pull the sale of Kwik-Fit, upon which it had placed a price tag of around $1bn. Ford acquired the company in 1999 for $1.6bn.

Ford announced the sale of the firm earlier this year as part of a broader range of cost-cutting measures. Goldman Sachs was hired to oversee the sale.

Kwik-Fit operates from headquarters in Edinburgh and employs 11,500 across its 2,400 service centres. Interest in the company had emerged from a number of private equity firms, including Paribas Affaires Industrielles, Apax Partners, CVC Capital Partners and Permira, formerly known as Schroder Ventures.

A spokesperson for Ford has stated that the company is still talking to prospective buyers about a sale, although the fact that Ford recently raised $5bn via a convertible debt issue, $1.5bn ahead of target, suggests that Ford is not in a hurry to dispose of the firm.