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Tyre makers get round to bidding for Kwik-Fit

Bridgestone has confirmed it has made a bid to buy workshop chain Kwik-Fit as part of its ambition to increase its market share in Europe. The tyre maker is teaming up with Mitsubishi Corporation to finance the acquisition.

Edinburgh-based Kwik-Fit was bought from Ford by CVC Capital Partners for £330 million in 2002, but is now believed to be worth around £750 million. Earlier this year, CVC sent out documentation about a potential sale to a number of prospective buyers, including several tyre makers. It expects a sale to go ahead by the end of the summer.

Bridgestone operates a First Stop soft franchise for independent fitters but doesn’t own its own fast-fit chain, unlike Goodyear Dunlop which has Hi-Q and Michelin that has ATS Euromaster.

However, acquisition of Kwik-Fit, which has 2,300 outlets across Europe, including about 670 centres in the UK, would guarantee Bridgestone’s tyre brands an increased volume of sales.

A spokesman for CVC Capital Partners says a number of bids have been received, however he couldn’t discuss details due to confidentiality agreements.

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