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Dutton-Forshaw's parent company snaps up Kwik-Fit

Ford has sold Kwik-Fit to CVC Capital Partners, a private equity group, for a cut-price £330m, but it will retain a 19 per cent stake in the business.

The transaction will be completed using a new company formed for the purpose and financed by funds under the management of CVC. It is expected to be concluded in the fourth quarter.

CVC last month purchased the Halfords car accessory and bicycle chain from Boots for £410m. It already owns Dutton-Forshaw, the £470m turnover dealer group with 34 outlets, and two automotive suppliers in Germany. This latest acquisition makes CVC a significant player in the sector.

Sir Trevor Chinn, who steps down as Lex Service chairman at the end of the year, will become Kwik-Fit chairman. He will be looking to develop the £762m turnover business in mainland Europe, where it has outlets in Germany, Netherlands and France.

Ford made a substantial loss on the Kwik-Fit business, which it acquired in 1999 for £1bn, although the 19 per cent interest means it will benefit from any future growth. The sale puts Ford on track to meet its revitalisation plan goal of raising $1bn (around £650m) this year from the sale of non-core operations.

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