Tag Archive | "deals"

MARATHON TO DISTRIBUTE WAI COMPONENTS

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MARATHON TO DISTRIBUTE WAI COMPONENTS


Independent distributor Marathon Warehouse Distribution has signed a deal with component manufacturer WAI Global to stock and deliver its range which includes starters, alternators and window regulators among other items.  

Marathon offers a  same-day service, which can reach around 85 percent of the UK’s population.

WAI customer stock orders will continue to be supplied through the company’s Bognor Regis warehouse on a next day delivery service, but with the implementation of the same day service, the plan is to bring WAI closer to the motor factor and ensure immediate access to ‘grey tail’ products.

Colin Fisher and Richard Welland

Richard Welland, WAI Global UK Managing Director, said: “There’s no denying the UK automotive aftermarket is changing at an alarming rate. In the past few years, we have worked to bring the WAI brand closer to motor factors and garages, meeting their demand for an almost instant parts supply.

Colin Fisher, Marathon Warehouse Distribution Sales and Marketing Director, said: “The ambition of WAI matches our own and we’re delighted to be stocking the widest range of WAI products and supplying the brand to motor factors on a frequent same day basis. We’re an independent national warehouse distributor and our logistics platform has to be able to offer motor factor customers a full range of high quality products both quickly and efficiently.”

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NGK BECOMES SHAREHOLDER OF TECALLIANCE

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NGK BECOMES SHAREHOLDER OF TECALLIANCE


Ignition giant NGK Spark Plug has become a shareholder of aftermarket data firm TecAlliance.

TecAlliance’s portfolio includes international vehicle and product data, repair and maintenance information, the TecDoc catalogue, data management and analytics as well as consultancy services n.

Damien Germès, Senior Vice President EMEA at NGK Spark Plug in Europe confirmed: “To become a shareholder of TecAlliance is a strategic decision and investment. We fully understand how essential it is for aftermarket distributors and workshops to have high-quality, instant data in a fast-changing market where digital solutions are becoming of vital importance. This investment is another demonstration of our commitment to continuously serving and supporting the independent aftermarket”.

“We are pleased to welcome as a new shareholder such an important player from the field of vehicle electronics”, emphasised Jürgen Buchert, Managing Director of TecAlliance. “This is another step towards our continuous goal to optimise and deepen the quality of our data and tailor-made solutions for a digital automotive aftermarket.”

 

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CONTINENTAL TO ENTER FILTRATION MARKET

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CONTINENTAL TO ENTER FILTRATION MARKET


Parts and technology group Continental have struck a deal with a filtration manufacturer to sell own brand filters across Europe.

The deal has been signed with Italy-based manufacturer UFI Filters and will officially launch at Automechanika Frankfurt in September of this year. Product will start shipping in January 2019.

Details of the product range have not yet been announced, but will  cover UFI’s all-makes programme of light vehicle fuel, oil, cabin and air filters. There is no word as yet on which, if any of the factor chains or buying groups will be stocking the product in the UK, and UFI has said that while the product ‘knows no borders’  a particular focus for Continental will be on the Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Benelux and Scandinavia markets.

“Our stated aim is to continue to expand our product portfolio for the automotive aftermarket under the renowned brand name Continental. To do this, we market only premium products that match our brand and that make sense for our customers,” said Peter Wagner, VP Aftermarket at Continental.

Giorgio Girondi, Chairman of UFI filters said:  “This agreement between two leading companies in the automotive aftermarket is a very important milestone in the history of UFI Filters. This strategic step by two premium brands shows that cooperation knows no geographical boundaries. That is crucial. We are really proud to see the UFI products in the renowned Continental branded box”.

UPDATE: UFI has confirmed that the agreement will cover markets across Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Benelux and Scandinavia only.

Georgio Girondi and Peter Wagner shake on UFI-Continental deal.

 

 

 

 

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GKN MELROSE: POLITICAL REACTION TO HOSTILE TAKEOVER

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GKN MELROSE: POLITICAL REACTION TO HOSTILE TAKEOVER


Melrose Industries has narrowly won its hostile takeover bid for GKN.

Following a ten-week battle that saw a war of words from GKN management as well as a number of alternative deals on the table, including a proposal from car parts maker Dana, the shareholders decided by a margin of 52 percent to sell to Melrose.

Despite assurances from Melrose, fears that the new buyer will simply wage a campaign of asset stripping as the takeover promises £8bn to be returned to shareholders, which will inevitably involve selling off parts of the business. Apart from car parts, GKN produces aviation components and has a number of defence contracts, leading to some speculation in the mainstream press that the deal might be stopped on national security grounds.

Business Secretary Greg Clark sought assurances from Melrose, saying that no company was ‘immune’ from takeover. Critics were keen to point out that such ‘assurances’ mean little in law, as was demonstrated when Kraft went back on promises made to Cadbury in 2009.

However, Defence Secretary Gavin Williams appears not to share Clark’s lasse-fare opinion, as he is reported as having ‘serious concerns’ about such a deal.

Former Defence Secretary [and owner of Haymarket Group] Lord Heseltine is quoted in the FT as saying that ‘no other country of our sort’ would allow the deal to go through.

Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn has said that the deal ‘must be stopped’ and that it does not make any sense ‘to put the interests of city speculators over the national interest’.

On completion of the deal, the Head Office in Reddich is tipped to be the first part of the operation to close.

 

 

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DANA MAKES BID FOR GKN

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DANA MAKES BID FOR GKN


U.S-based car parts maker Dana has made a bid for embattled engineering giant GKN.

A report in the FT says that Dana will offer $6bn for the drivetrain division and will consider opening a secondary listing on the London stock exchange.

GKN’s drivetrain business combined with Dana’s existing contracts would give shareholders 47 percent of the world’s biggest drive system supplier with annual sales of $14bn according to the paper.

Jim Kamsickas, Chief Exec of Dana was clear that the combination of the two firm’s strengths in road vehicle engineering was undisputable. “It would be impossible to poke a hole in this industrially” he said.

The new bid is in addition to the hostile offer to shareholders from Melrose Industries, previously reported on. The board of GKN has rejected the bid, but shareholders are currently considering it.

However, the Melrose bit is neither popular with the management, nor some key clients. Tom Williams, CEO of Airbus has been quoted as saying that it would be ‘impossible’ to work with the engineering company under a short-term business model.

“The industry does not lend itself to shorter term financial investment which naturally reduces R&D, budgets and limits vital innovation,” he told the Reuters news agency.

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MESSE FRANKFURT ACQUIRES FOREST EXHIBITIONS

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MESSE FRANKFURT ACQUIRES FOREST EXHIBITIONS


Event organiser Messe Frankfurt has acquired Forest Exhibitions to create Messe Frankfurt UK. Terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

Sherwood was the licence holder for Automechanika Birmingham, while Messe Frankfurt is the parent company.

Simon Albert, Event Director of Automechanika Birmingham will take the role of Managing Director of the new UK subsidiary replacing Rob Sherwood.

A note from Olivia Brockwell, Operations Executive at Messe Frankfurt UK, to exhibitors at the show read: “There will be no operational, commercial or legal impact on your relationship with Forest Exhibitions”.

“The event team remain unchanged, and we are full steam ahead with this year’s event”.

The show organiser will remain in the same

 

 

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DIGRAPH TO OPEN 16 NEW SITES

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DIGRAPH TO OPEN 16 NEW SITES


CV factor Digraph is set to open 16 new branches in the next six months as part of a growth strategy described as ‘aggressive’. This will be in addition to several acquisitions of similar businesses and expansion of existing branches.

The move follows significant investment in the company by Euro Car Parts as well as Sukhpal Singh Ahluwalia and James Rawson. The expansion could create and create 164 jobs.

The new outlets are in various locations across the UK, stretching from Glasgow to Crawley. At this point it is unconfirmed if the new locations will be from LKQ’s existing portfolio, newly acquired sites, or a mix of the two.

The strategy doesn’t seem to phase the management team.  Sukhpal Singh Ahluwalia commented: “Locations, stock and logistics are relatively straightforward – indeed we once opened 12 Euro Car Parts branches in a single day. Our challenge is to find the right people and partners to join us in delivering our vision of market-leading customer service … nationwide. We are building our new branches around the best team players”.

“We are shaking up the industry in other ways too, with major investment in stock ranges, accelerated delivery speeds and added-value programmes, as we continue to build the UK’s most powerful team.”

Branch expansions and upgrades are happening in Gloucester, Northampton, Nuneaton and Stoke. The Northwich branch is relocating to larger premises in Ellesmere Port which will greatly increase stock holding and give improved deliveries to the customer base.

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GKN FIGHTS ‘OPPORTUNISTIC’ HOSTILE TAKEOVER BID

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GKN FIGHTS ‘OPPORTUNISTIC’ HOSTILE TAKEOVER BID


UK engineering company GKN is under threat from a hostile takeover from investment house Melrose Industries.  

Melrose  has made an unsolicited offer to shareholders to  acquire the entire issued share capital of GKN for 1.49 new Melrose shares and 81 pence in cash per share.

Melrose is known for turning engineering companies around and under the strapline ‘buy, sell, improve, sell’ it attempts to add value to the brands it acquires before selling them on, in a similar vein to a private equity. It’s website states it “finances acquisitions using a low level of leverage, improves the businesses by a mixture of investment and changed management focus, sells them and returns the proceeds to shareholders”.

However, the management of GKN do not want to sell to Melrose. In a letter to shareholders GKN Chairman Mike Turner blasts the approach as ‘entirely opportunistic’ and ‘low price and high risk’ before barbing: “Your board believes that Melrose is more focused on financial engineering than real engineering”.

“GKN is six times the size of Melrose’s largest acquisition and your Board believes that Melrose’s management team lacks relevant experience at Board level in several critical areas” wrote Turner, adding that he doen’t believe that Melrose has the necessary relationships with VMs and aircraft makers to make a success of the business. “Cars and aircraft are researched, designed, produced and serviced over several decades – your Board believes that a short term, private equity-style strategy is not the right way to provide sustained shareholder value in our sectors” he said.

GKN said in an earlier letter to shareholders that it would sell non-core assets and return £2.5bn to shareholders in response to the offer. 

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FEATURE: HAYNES’ LONG ROAD TO A DIGITAL FUTURE

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FEATURE: HAYNES’ LONG ROAD TO A DIGITAL FUTURE


Speaking to CAT after the Haynes shareholders AGM, J Haynes has admitted that selling digital manuals through bricks-and-mortar accessory shops is a difficult concept for retailers.

“I’m not quite sure they do [understand how to sell the cards] quite yet. One of the elements that we’re putting together is card that retailers can sell in the store, which contains a code that the customer can redeem for a digital manual” he said, adding that while many customers will continue to want paper books, a growing number will prefer the info on their phone, tablet or laptop. “What we want to do is to get the information into as many drivers’ hands as possible” he explained.

 

Haynes is a firm that has grappled with the method and need to modernise. “I think Eddie [Bell, Group Chairman] outlined at the AGM that we are still a business in turnaround” he said, adding that the publisher continues to have ‘a clear focus on content and data’.

In December 2016, Haynes disposed of publishing and printing buildings in Australia, and more recently sold one of its two decommissioned US freehold properties in Nashville. The Group’s remaining freehold properties in Nashville, Tennessee and Sparkford, Somerset, are presently being marketed for sale. The cash generated from the sales will offset the costs associated with acquiring Swindon-based lubricant data firm OATS, for which it paid a total of £2.4m and Tunbridge-based E3 Technical in a deal valued at £4.72m.

There will be more on Haynes’ strategy in an upcoming issue of CAT.

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LIQUI MOLY ACQUIRED BY WÜRTH GROUP

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LIQUI MOLY ACQUIRED BY WÜRTH GROUP


A deal has been struck by German lube producer Würth Group to acquire Liqui Moly.

Würth Group has owned shares in the Ulm-based company for some years. Now, Managing Partner Ernst Prost has agreed to sell his controlling share in the company, effective January 1s subject to the usual regulatory approvals.  

Following the sale, Würth has said that Liqui Moly will continue to operate as an autonomous company with an independent brand in the Group. Prost will remain with Liqui Moly as joint MD, sharing the role with the firm’s long-standing Head of Sales, Günter Hiermaier.

Liqui Moly has sponsored Team Engstler for years

Peter Zürn, Deputy Chairman of the Central Managing Board of the Würth Group said: “We are proud that this successful and established brand, which is known for its outstanding reputation and great dynamics, will enrich the portfolio of the Würth Group. Our objective is the sustained successful development of Liqui Moly in the future. This is why we will continue to put our faith in the entrepreneurial expertise of Ernst Prost, just as we have done in the past 20 years as a silent partner at Liqui Moly”.

From Prost’s perspective it will be business as usual: “Those who know me know that my employees are my focus,” he said. “After all, it would be foolish to change anything about the road to success over the past few years. Everything will continue just as before – just under a bigger roof that offers greater protection.

In fiscal year 2016, Liqui Moly generated sales of approximately EUR 500 million with 800 employees.

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