Automotive parts distributor Alliance Automotive will now be controlled by Blackstone. The move comes in light of the European car market finally gaining ground after decades of losses.
Alliance Automotive originally focuses on the U.K. and France. The private equity group bought the company for 440 million Euros from the France-based Weinberg Capital Partners.
Lionel Assant, the manager of Blackstone’s European private equity, stated that a combination of organic and acquisition-based growth should put Alliance Automotive into a leading role in the European market.
The chairman and co-founder of Alliance Automotive Group, Jean-Jacques Lafont, welcomed the acquisition. He said having Blackstone as a shareholder would aid the group’s international expansion.
Blackstone’s acquisition followed a string of about 30 take-overs that Alliance performed in the B-to-B car parts market. The take-overs, choreographed since 2006, have doubled the group’s revenue to 1.2 billion Euros.
It becomes a benchmark move within the European car market, which saw its sales up by 6.5 percent during the first half of 2014.
Précisium and TPA are the two largest acquisitions made by Alliance after 2006. The group’s operations include the brands Groupauto France, Groupauto UK, Précisium, and Gef’ Auto. The group is a distributor to more than 25,000 automotive services throughout the U.K. and France.
Blackstone’s acquisition could also help embolden the U.K. auto industry. Although sales are at record high due to appealing financing and discounting options, experts warn that the trend could soon start winding down. Car sales are predicted to reach 2.4 million, roughly the same figure as what was before the financial meltdown in 2007.