The Parts Alliance: Creating a leading UK distributor of automotive aftermarket parts through M&A - Hg

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The Parts Alliance is a UK distributor of automotive aftermarket parts with market leading referencing technology. It has a network of c. 200 branches which support 35,000 independent garages and larger multi‑site national chains such as Kwik Fit, Halfords and the AA with their parts supply as well as providing tools, garage equipment and training.

The UK aftermarket car parts sector is one of the largest in Europe where better parts sourcing is one of the clear benefits of scale. Despite this, the sector remained highly fragmented compared to other European nations which provided an attractive consolidation opportunity. We identified The Parts Alliance as the natural roll‑up vehicle given it was a buying group with 13 members with some shared central functions and had the market leading parts referencing technology, AlliCat.

In 2012, we entered into bilateral discussions with four members of the Parts Alliance who shared our vision to consolidate the sector, realise scale benefits, and deliver great customer service.

Over the course of five months, we rapidly completed the acquisitions of CES, Allparts, SCMF and GMF creating an immediate platform of scale. Following a period of integration, we hired our CEO, Peter Sephton, in August 2013 and were ready to embark on additional M&A.

In total, we acquired 10 further motor factors ranging from small operations with only two or three branches through to the transformational acquisition of GSF in 2015 which added 70 additional branches. In addition to M&A, we focused on enhancing our technology offering, improving our operating efficiency, and building out the management team as the business scaled from c. 500 to over 3,000.

In June 2017, we announced the sale of The Parts Alliance to UniSelect Inc., a listed Canadian distributor of automotive refinish and industrial paint products and aftermarket parts.

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