News Column

Blackstone swoops to buy UK and French car parts outfit

August 12, 2014

MICHAEL BOW



PRIVATE equity firm Blackstone yesterday took control of Alliance Automotive, a French and UK car parts distributor.


The company, which trades under the name Group Auto in the UK, has 510 outlets across Britain and helps source and deliver spare parts to independent garages.


Blackstone has bought the company for around 440m (350.8m) from French firm Weinberg Capital.


"We look forward to working with them as the company confirms its position as a leading operator in the European market both through organic and acquisition led growth," Blackstone's head of European Private Equity Lionel Assant said.


Alliance reported revenue of 1.2bn last year, more than double 2006 levels which were 540m. Overall the group is made up of Group Auto France, Partners, Gef'Auto and Precisium, and the UK business, and employs 3,500 people across 1,500 outlets.


"Alliance Automotive Group has now become one of the leading European players thanks to an ambitious external growth strategy. We warmly welcome Blackstone as a shareholder to pursue our international expansion," Jean-Jacques Lafont, chairman of the group, said.


The deal comes after another car parts distributor, Unipart Automotive, went into administration in the UK due to the tough trading environment.


Blackstone owns a number of other UK assets, such as United Biscuits.


For more stories on investments and markets, please see HispanicBusiness' Finance Channel



Source: City A.M. (UK)


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