Ford to buy Kwik-Fit for pounds 1bn
Tuesday 13 April 1999
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.
- 1 East 17 bandmember Brian Harvey in 'very desperate situation’
- 2 Vladimir Putin says Russia will fight for the right of Palestinians to their own state
- 3 WrestleMania 31 results: Seth Rollins stuns WWE as he cashes in Money in the Bank contract to claim title from Brock Lesnar
- 4 Ohio Democrat Teresa Fedor speaks out during abortion debate to reveal she has been raped – and is interrupted by laughter from Republicans
- 5 Germanwings plane crash: I have depression. That doesn't make me a psychopath
East 17 bandmember Brian Harvey in 'very desperate situation’
Vladimir Putin says Russia will fight for the right of Palestinians to their own state
Ohio Democrat Teresa Fedor speaks out during abortion debate to reveal she has been raped – and is interrupted by laughter from Republicans
Germanwings plane crash: Investigators may have already found remains of suspected killer co-pilot Andreas Lubitz
Children take eight Isis captives to be beheaded in latest propaganda video
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Street preacher quoting from the Bible fined for calling homosexuality an 'abomination'
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
iJobs Money & Business
£20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This multi-award winning foreig...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: To provide a prompt, friendly and efficient se...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: You will be the first point of contact for all...
£18000 - £24000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: HR, Payroll & Benefits Of...