Ford to buy Kwik-Fit for pounds 1bn

FORD, the giant motor company, yesterday launched an agreed takeover of Kwik-Fit in a surprise deal that values the Edinburgh-based tyres and exhaust company at pounds 1bn.

Ford said the takeover was part of a drive to move from its image as a motor manufacturer and turn itself into the leading consumer services company in motoring.

Kwik-Fit shareholders will be offered 560p in cash for each share, a 32 per cent premium to their Friday closing price of 419p. Shares in Kwik-Fit soared, climbing 28 per cent to close at 541p. Other motor service retailers rose in sympathy, including Lex, up 38p at 469p.

The deal gives the car giant greater access to after-sales markets in Europe, with control of 1,900 garages in the UK, Belgium, France and Germany.

Ford executives said they would service competitor's cars for the first time, and offer enhanced service on its own cars over two years old.

Jacques Nasser, president of Ford, said: "Kwik-Fit is an outstanding company that has earned a leading position in the fast-fit market and created a successful customer formula - innovative high value services with convenient locations and knowledge of the customer."

While executives talked of "outstanding growth potential" and significant synergies, they said no job cuts were planned. Ford is retaining the services of Sir Tom Farmer, Kwik-Fit's founder, chairman and chief executive, who will remain in charge of the company he set up 28 years ago. He will also join the board of the Ford Consumer Services Division (FSCSD). Directors of Kwik-Fit are unanimously recommending the offer.

A Ford spokesman said the first talks began "several months ago" after Ford approached Kwik-Fit. "What we were looking for was the best aftermarket company in the world," he said. "This is not just about Europe but about the world. We concluded that Kwik-Fit was the best."

Analysts yesterday said they were surprised that Kwik-Fit had decided to talk to Ford, in spite of a mild profits warning late last year.

"It is a company that has always made great play of its independence and was doing quite well enough on its own," said one. "It was probably panicked into talking by the profits warning."

Joe Dickinson, an analyst with leading motor market consultants AT Kearney, said the deal underlined Ford's strategy of vertical integration, buying car dealers in the US and increasingly using its brand to move into retail services.

Ford said it intended to accelerate the Kwik-Fit European expansion, which involved buying the Speedy chain of motor services outlets last year.

FootballGerman sparks three goals in four minutes at favourite No 10 role
Rumer was diagnosed with bipolarity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder: 'I was convinced it was a misdiagnosis'
peopleHer debut album caused her post-traumatic stress - how will she cope as she releases her third record?
A long jumper competes in the 80-to-84-year-old age division at the 2007 World Masters Championships
Radamel Falcao was forced to withdraw from the World Cup after undergoing surgery
premier leagueExclusive: Reds have agreement with Monaco
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvHe is only remaining member of original cast
Life and Style
Walking tall: unlike some, Donatella Versace showed a strong and vibrant collection
fashionAlexander Fury on the staid Italian clothing industry
Arts and Entertainment
Gregory Porter learnt about his father’s voice at his funeral
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
tvHighs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
Life and Style
Children at the Leytonstone branch of the Homeless Children's Aid and Adoption Society tuck into their harvest festival gifts, in October 1936
food + drinkThe harvest festival is back, but forget cans of tuna and packets of instant mash
Lewis Hamilton will start the Singapore Grand Prix from pole, with Nico Rosberg second and Daniel Ricciardo third
F1... for floodlit Singapore Grand Prix
New Articles
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Senior BA - Motor and Home Insurance

£400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: **URGENT CONTRACT ROLE**...

Market Risk & Control Manager

Up to £100k or £450p/d: Saxton Leigh: My client is a leading commodities tradi...

SQL Developer - Watford/NW London - £320 - £330 p/d - 6 months

£320 - £330 per day: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group have been engaged by a l...

Head of Audit

To £75,000 + Pension + Benefits + Bonus: Saxton Leigh: My client is looking f...

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam