Japan firm buys Britain's Kwik-Fit for $1.0 bn

3rd March 2011, Comments 0 comments

Japanese trading house and conglomerate Itochu said Thursday it would buy Britain's top tyre retailer Kwik-Fit for $1.0 billion to boost its tyre business in Europe.

Itochu Corp. and Itochu Europe PLC based in London have agreed to acquire all the shares of the Kwik-Fit Group from PAI Partners, a European private equity firm, for 637 million pounds the Japanese company said.

The deal needs to be approved by the European Competition Authorities and successful completion of the consultation process with its French Works Council, Itochu added.

The Japanese firm spans textiles, machinery, aerospace, energy, chemicals, food and finance. In Britain Itochu already operates tyre wholesaler Stapletons Ltd, or STS.

Kwik-Fit, established in 1971, boasts Europe's largest service point network comprising 1,218 directly managed tyre fitting centres in Britain, France and the Netherlands.

It saw group sales of 875 million pounds in 2010 and employs more than 7,000 people.

© 2011 AFP

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