Float will value Partco at pounds 50m: Profits doubled to pounds 4.3m on turnover up 5 per cent

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The Independent Online
PARTCO, Britain's biggest independent motor parts distributor, will be valued at about pounds 50m when it makes its stock market debut in March.

The company will issue about half its share capital in the flotation, which will be by way of a placing with institutions and an intermediaries offer. Partco was bought from Quinton Hazell, the components manufacturer, by its management in 1986.

The management paid pounds 9m, but the directors are not in line for a bonanza. They hold less than 10 per cent of the equity. Institutions inluding CinVen, 3i and Schroders hold more than 90 per cent.

The company doubled pre-tax profits to pounds 4.3m last year on turnover that rose just 5 per cent to pounds 124m. Chris Scott, finance director, said lower interest charges and tight control of cash had boosted margins. 'Every 0.1 per cent of improvement in our gross margins adds an extra pounds 125,000 to the bottom line.'

Partco sells parts for cars and commercial vehicles through a 210- strong branch network. Eighty per cent of its customers are small local operators, but it also supplies large national retailers such as Halfords, Kwik-Fit and Lucas Autocentres.

The company doubled in size in 1989 with the acquisition of GKN Autoparts for pounds 22m. Peter Redfern, managing director, said the new money would be used to reduce debt and for expansion.

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