Clayton, Dubilier & Rice is in exclusive talks to buy a 40 percent stake in Belron Group. The deal calls for D’Ieteren and management to retain a 60 percent ownership interest in the company. The transaction values Belron at 3 billion euros ($3.5 billion), which would drop to 1.55 billion euros after deducting debt and a 453 million euro dividend payment. Belron, of Cape Town, South Africa, provides vehicle glass repair and replacement.
D’Ieteren and Clayton, Dubilier & Rice (“CD&R”), a global private investment firm, today announced that they have entered into exclusive discussions under which CD&R-managed funds would acquire a 40% ownership interest in the Belron group, the global leader in the vehicle glass repair and replacement (“VGRR”) market. Under the proposed agreement, D’Ieteren and management would retain the remaining 60% ownership interest in the company. The proposed transaction would value Belron at EUR 3 billion (enterprise value) which, after deduction of debt-like items (including a dividend payment of EUR 453 million), translates into an equity value of about EUR 1,550 million. The proposed transaction is subject to an information and consultation process with Belron’s French workers council, as well as the approval of the relevant regulatory and competition authorities.
With 2016 sales of EUR 3.3 billion, Belron is the sole global operator in the VGRR market, serving more than 11 million customers annually across 34 countries and five continents. The company holds the number one position in each of its top ten countries, including the US, France and Germany. Belron’s portfolio of well-recognized brands includes Carglass®, Safelite® and Autoglass®. The company employs approximately 26,000 associates worldwide.
Axel Miller, CEO of D’Ieteren, said: “We would welcome CD&R as a strategic shareholder in our business. The Firm is well known to be a trustworthy and value-added partner that plays a constructive role at the companies in which it invests. Our discussions have shown a very high level of alignment between us and the management on how to support the long-term growth of the business, building on its superior customer service, great relationships with insurers and other partners, outstanding brands and extraordinary people.”
“We could not be more pleased to have the opportunity to invest in Belron and very much look forward to finalizing the proposed agreement,” said CD&R Partner Christian Rochat. “D’leteren’s long-term partnership with Belron has delivered impressive results; we would be very pleased to become their partner in this continuing journey. We share management’s vision for the business and support the long-term strategy to build on the company’s strong market position to accelerate growth and pursue operational excellence.”
“We are excited about the prospect of partnering with CD&R as we redouble our efforts to deliver the quality service to our valued customers while creating long-term rewarding opportunities for Belron employees worldwide,” said Gary Lubner, CEO of Belron.
About Clayton, Dubilier & Rice
Founded in 1978, Clayton, Dubilier & Rice is a private investment firm. Since inception, CD&R has managed the investment of more than $24 billion in 75 companies representing a broad range of industries with an aggregate transaction value of more than $100 billion. In Europe, the Firm’s recent investments include BUT, SPIE and Rexel in France, and B&M, BCA, MFG and Exova in the U.K., as well as Kalle and Mauser in Germany. The Firm has offices in New York and London. For more information, visit www.cdr-inc.com.
In existence since 1805, and across family generations, D’Ieteren seeks growth and value creation by pursuing a strategy on the long term for its businesses and actively encouraging and supporting them to develop their position in their industry or in their geographies. The group has currently three activities articulated around strong brands:
– D’Ieteren Auto distributes Volkswagen, Audi, SEAT, Škoda, Bentley, Lamborghini, Bugatti, Porsche and Yamaha vehicles in Belgium. It is the country’s number one car distributor, with a market share of around 22% and 1.2 million vehicles on the road at the end of 2016. Sales and adjusted operating result reached respectively EUR 3.1 billion and EUR 75.8 million in FY 2016.
– Belron (94.85% owned) makes a difference by solving people’s problems with real care. It is the worldwide leader in vehicle glass repair and replacement, trading under more than 10 major brands including Carglass®, Safelite® AutoGlass and Autoglass®. In addition, it manages vehicle glass and other insurance claims on behalf of insurance customers. Belron is also expanding its services to focus on solving problems for people who need assistance with repairs to their vehicles and homes. Sales and adjusted operating result reached respectively EUR 3.3 billion and EUR 190.7 million in FY 2016.
– Moleskine (100% owned) is a premium and aspirational lifestyle brand which develops and sells iconic branded notebooks and writing, travel and reading accessories through a multichannel distribution strategy across 102 countries. Sales and operating result reached respectively EUR 145.2 million and EUR 34.0 million on a stand-alone basis in FY 2016.