HSBC Private Equity sells Auto Windscreens

The private equity firm is selling its stake in Auto Windscreens for £112m.

HSBC Private Equity, the European private equity arm of the HSBC Group, has sold Auto Windscreens to Lex Service Plc for £112m (E180m).

Chris Masterson, managing director of HSBC Private Equity, said that Auto Windscreens is a highly successful business. “We are confident that the business will continue to thrive under Lex’s ownership and will benefit significantly from association with the RAC brand,” he said. Auto Windscreens, the second largest provider of vehicle glass replacement services in the UK, has an overall market share of 32 per cent. In 2000 it worked on some 700,000 vehicles.

Under HSBC and management’s ownership of Auto Windscreens, sales at the company increased from £71.2m in 1997 to £91.8m in the year ended 31 December 2000. Mark Usher, managing director of Auto Windscreens said: “The partnership between Auto Windscreens and HSBC Private Equity has been very successful over the past 2 and a half years. This transaction brings Auto Windscreens to an exciting new phase of development and will deliver increased growth by joining forces with the RAC name, one of the strongest motoring brands in the UK.”

HSBC Private Equity and the senior management of Auto Windscreens bought the business from Heywood Williams Group PLC in August 1998.

Lex Service PLC provides motoring and business solutions to private and corporate customers through divisions including RAC Motoring Services and Lex Business Services.