Driven Brands, Inc., the parent of Maaco Collision Repair & Auto Painting, Meineke Car Care Centers, Econo Lube N’ Tune, AutoQual, Aero Colours, Drive N Style, and Tortal.net, announced today the addition of Harvest Partners as the new primary stakeholder in the Driven Brands recapitalization effort. Carousel Capital will remain invested at a modest level.
This recapitalization effort is timed perfectly to take advantage of historically low interest rates which will allow for more “fuel” to accelerate Driven Brands’ growth at a time when consumers and fleets are rewarding the top performers in the aftermarket industry by buying fewer new cars and extending the life of their vehicles with preventative maintenance, mechanical repairs, painting and body repairs.
Kenneth D. Walker, Driven Brands Chairman & CEO, who will continue to lead the management team of the company said, “We have had a great relationship with Carousel Capital which invested and supported Driven Brands impressive growth over the past three years.” Walker added, “Harvest is now positioned with the resources and commitment to capitalize on our strong brands and the tremendous opportunities for growth and consolidation in our industry.”
“We are very pleased with the performance of this investment and look forward to passing control over to Harvest Partners,” said Jason C. Schmidly, Managing Partner of Carousel Capital. “During our tenure as primary owners, Driven Brands has more than doubled in size with the Maaco acquisition and Meineke has built an infrastructure over the past three years that is now delivering outstanding results,” he said. “Ken Walker and his management team will continue to do an outstanding job increasing the Driven Brands footprint in the highly fragmented auto aftermarket while delivering industry leading organic growth.”
Credit Suisse acted as financial advisor to Driven Brands in connection with the transaction. Legal advisors to Carousel Capital were K&L Gates LLP while Harvest Partners was advised by White & Case LLP.
Founded in 1981, Harvest Partners, LP (www.harvpart.com) is a leading New York-based private equity investment firm pursuing management buyouts and growth financings. Harvest focuses on acquiring profitable companies in the business services, manufacturing and distribution, industrial services, midstream energy and consumer products and retail sectors. This strategy leverages Harvest’s over 30 years of experience in financing organic and acquisition-oriented growth companies.
Driven Brands, (www.drivenbrands.com) headquartered in Charlotte, NC, serves as parent company for the separate businesses: Maaco (a franchise-based collision repair and auto painting retail network) Meineke Car Care Centers (a franchise-based automotive service and repair retail network); Econo Lube & Tune (a franchised chain of automotive repair/quick lube services); a franchised network of mobile services consisting of AutoQual, Aero-Colours & Drive N Style (specializing in automotive interior reconditioning and maintenance, paint refinishing and restyling services for Car Dealerships) and Tortal.net (developer of on-line training solutions for a variety of industries). Management team members serve on the industry association boards, the IFA and AAIA.
Maaco Collision Repair & Auto Painting (www.maaco.com) repairs accident damage, dents and faded paint for close to 500,000 drivers annually. The 450 franchises have restored the safety and beauty of all types of vehicles for nearly 40 years. MAACO Franchising, Inc., headquartered in King of Prussia, Pa, has been cited numerous times by Entrepreneur magazine as #1 in its category in the Annual Franchise 500 survey.
Beginning in 1972, Meineke Car Care Centers (www.meineke.com) has expanded its menu of product offerings to meet the demands of a changing marketplace. In 1986, the chain relocated from Houston, TX to Charlotte, NC. Demonstrating steady growth, both domestically and internationally with locations in Canada, Mexico, South Korea, the Mid-East, China and new openings scheduled for Chile and Caribbean, Meineke now represents over 900 franchised service centers, with an additional 100 licenses sold and in development. The American Association of Franchisees & Dealers recognized Meineke in 2001 as its first automotive industry Franchisor to earn the coveted Fair Franchising Seal. Meineke regularly appears in Entrepreneur Magazine’s Annual Franchise 500 (55nd overall and #1 in class for 2011), a list of the 500 best franchise opportunities in America.
Econo Lube N’ Tune & Brakes (www.econolube.com) was established in 1973 and was acquired by Driven Brands in 2006. The franchise automotive service chain has 160 units primarily in the Southwest and West and boasts 106 units which are co-branded with Meineke. This new concept of combining express oil changes with more technical repair expertise is proving very successful in the marketplace.
Beginning in 1998, Ryan Elliott, an automotive entrepreneur, developed a series of proprietary processes and services for used cars that not only made them look and smell fresh but maintained that factory-new experience until the car was sold. The business quickly grew from a local Coloradobased company to a nationally recognized franchise with locations in 23 states and 3 provinces. In 2008 Driven Brands acquired AutoQual (www.autoqual.com) from Automotive Franchise Systems, building it to the category leader it is today.
Started in the 1985, Aero Colours (www.aerocolours.com) was the first company to market an airbrush touchup process for repairing stone chips on automobiles. Using specially equipped vans, Aero-Colours began by servicing new and used car dealers exclusively, and then extended service to owners of personal vehicles. The company has continued to expand its service offering which now includes mobile bumper repair and refinishing, glass repair and headlight restoration.
Started in 2000 as Dealer Extras, Inc. and later re-branded as Drive N Style (www.drivenstyle.com), the company was the first mobile provider to specialize in the installation of unique interior and exterior restyling components. In 2012, the AutoQual and Aero Colours brands will be combined with Drive N Style and franchised as a multi-service mobile provider of appearance enhancement services and marketed to car dealerships, fleet operators, rental car agencies and retail consumers.
Tortal (www.tortal.net) is a training company that specializes in developing interactive online training solutions for companies and organizations in a variety of industries. Tortal provides the tools needed to set-up a training site, track users, build custom courses, and distribute the training content worldwide. For information on Tortal.net services, contact their President at 704-644-8156.
Carousel Capital is a private investment firm that invests in companies located in the Southeastern United States. Carousel’s investor base includes institutional investors and an elite group of more than 100 current and former CEOs with significant operating experience. Since its inception, Carousel has invested in 28 companies primarily in three targeted growth sectors: business services; consumer products and services; and healthcare services.