Crash Champions has announced that it has entered into an agreement to receive a growth investment from Clearlake Capital Group, L.P. and will simultaneously execute a strategic transaction with Service King Collision to merge the two large collision repair centre operators.
Crash Champions’ management team and operating partners, alongside Clearlake, will lead the combined company going forward. Following closing and integration, the company will operate over 550 total locations across the USA under the Crash Champions name and banner. Terms of the transaction, which is subject to customary closing conditions including regulatory clearances, were not disclosed.
Founded in 1999 by Matt Ebert, Crash Champions is a U.S. operator of over 200 collision repair facilities. Having expanded from a single storefront in Chicago into a present-day network of 20 states, each location is built on the Company’s founder and operator-led values, championing customer service and workplace satisfaction.
Since its founding in 1976, Service King grew to over 330 locations spanning 24 states. Partnering with Crash Champions will allow Service King to better serve its customers and carrier partners, while driving long-term value for employees, vendors, and investors.
“Today is an exciting day for Crash Champions and another major milestone in our growth story,” said Ebert, Crash Champions CEO. “This strategic combination further enhances our ability to serve our customers and insurance partners while creating advancement opportunities for our team members across both organisations.”
This marks Clearlake’s second investment in the collision repair industry. In May, Service King announced it recapitalized its business with Clearlake assuming majority ownership. The company received a $200 million cash injection and reduced its debt by over $500 million.
“This investment was driven by our thematic-based approach to investing in the automotive aftermarket and our specific identification of the collision repair sector as an ecosystem at a historical inflection point,” said José E. Feliciano, co-founder and managing partner, and Colin Leonard, partner of Clearlake. “The proliferation of vehicle technology has put unique demands on the shop operators to invest in OEM certifications, equipment, and most importantly their personnel to deliver safe and efficient service.”
During the post-closing integration activities, both Crash Champions and Service King will continue operating at all service centres nationwide without interruption.
This article courtesy of Russell Thrall III, publisher CollisionWeek. Check out the website at: www.collisionweek.com.