Access Holdings-backed CWON invests in Flagship Car Wash Center

Car Wash Owners Network, which is backed by Access Holdings, has made an investment in Flagship Car Wash Center, a Mid-Atlantic-based car wash operator.

Car Wash Owners Network, which is backed by Access Holdings, has made an investment in Flagship Car Wash Center, a Mid-Atlantic-based car wash operator. No financial terms were disclosed.

PRESS RELEASE

Baltimore, MD – Car Wash Owners Network (“CWON”), a portfolio company of Baltimore-based Access Holdings, has closed its investment in Flagship Car Wash Center (“Flagship”), a leading car wash operator in the Mid-Atlantic. As a mid-market investment firm specializing in buy-and-build strategies, Access Holdings partners, scales, and innovates to build enduring businesses. Access Holdings and CWON will support their partnership with Flagship by bringing best-in-class processes and technologies to bolster Flagship’s position within its existing markets and expand into new geographies through de novo development and M&A initiatives.

“We are always looking to partner with entrepreneurs who share our level of ambition and drive for excellence,” said Access Holdings Managing Director, Matt McLain. “In our extensive research into the car wash industry, we have identified Flagship as an operator uniquely positioned to scale, particularly given its existing, actionable pipeline of over 20 opportunities in advanced stages of diligence. For more than thirty years, Flagship has provided best-in-class services across this ever-growing market. Access is excited to support the brand’s accelerated expansion, enhance its offerings, and continue to secure Flagship as the premier operator of choice.”

Flagship was founded in 1983 by Donnie Hinton, who later joined forces with Guy Paolozzi in 2010, to create one of the leading car wash operators in the Washington DC, Maryland, and Northern Virginia (the “DMV”) market with 11 locations offering express, full-, and flex-serve car wash services. CWON and Flagship are aligned on a win-win value creation strategy that combines Flagship’s local knowledge and premier locations with CWON’s best practices and winning playbook. The partnership will expand modern car-wash services, including indoor sites, monthly membership options, and increased express services to more customers with an objective to grow Flagship’s business to 50+ locations by 2024.

“CWON proved themselves to be a true partner throughout the transaction,” said Flagship’s Co-Owner and President, Guy Paolozzi, who will continue to lead the business post-close. “The CWON team genuinely took the time to get to know us and define a mutually developed long-term strategy centered around a dynamic and actionable growth plan that we are already executing against. We are entering this deal confident that we have an innovative partner who not only understands our mission but also has the vision and know-how to execute and improve it.”

Since 2019, CWON has partnered with leading operators in prime markets, with Flagship becoming CWON’s third car wash operating brand. The network offers unmatched platform operators and market-leading brands in each of its geographies. Through its partnerships, CWON has expanded its presence from a single market comprised of 24 sites in early 2020 to five markets with an expected 75+ sites by year-end 2021. CWON expects to reach 100+ sites by the end of 2022 via continued rapid expansion in current and new markets.

“Flagship presented an incredible opportunity for CWON to continue building its network of top car wash operators,” said CWON’s Chief Financial Officer Andy Colmone. “Guy has built a premier business which shares our dynamic, innovative approach. The Flagship brand is synonymous with quality, and, together, we will accelerate Flagship’s expansion and grow its already impressive service offerings.”

CWON is executing a purposeful growth strategy by partnering with leading express car wash operators in attractive markets. For inquiries about the business and new development opportunities, please contact the CWON team, Jason Cellura, Chief Development Officer and Andy Colmone, CFO, at growth@car-won.com.

ABOUT CAR WASH OWNERS NETWORK
Access Holdings formed Car Wash Owners Network in 2019 with a singular goal: to build market-leading car wash platforms in partnership with world-class operators. Through its partnerships with Flagship Car Wash Center, Cobblestone Auto Spa, and Okie Express Auto Wash, CWON’s network currently operates 62 locations in Phoenix, Denver, Oklahoma City, Washington DC, Maryland, and Virginia. With a robust pipeline of acquisitions and new development opportunities, CWON is on track to significantly expand in each of its markets in 2021. For more information, please visit www.car-won.com.