The France-based Mobivia Groupe, Europe’s largest independent automotive maintenance and repair services group, based in France, has agreed to acquire leading German autocentre chain ATU. Combined annual sales are expected to be roughly 2.7 billion euros, while there will be close to 2,000 automotive workshops and retail stores and over 20,000 employees in the group.
ATU currently operates 577 auto centres in Germany, 25 in Austria, and six in Switzerland. In its financial year ended on 30 June 2016, ATU had sales of approximately 1 billion euros. ATU will continue to operate in the German market as an autonomous company under its own brand within Mobivia Groupe, and keep its headquarters in Weiden i.d. Oberpfalz, Germany.
The deal is subject to the condition that ATU reaches long-term agreements with leasesholders on reducing rental payments to market levels. According to Mobivia, these rent reductions are “a significant condition in returning ATU to sustainable and profitable growth, and management is in active negotiations…to this end”.
Mobivia currently operates in 16 countries, in Europe, Africa, and Latin America, through more than 1,300 service points with its brands Norauto, Midas, Carter-Cash, Auto 5, Synchro Diffusion, Bythjul, and Skruvat, and serves over 30 million motorists.
Olivier Mélis, president of the board of directors of Mobivia Groupe commented: “This is an important milestone for Mobivia Groupe, as it will strengthen our European leadership by joining forces with a key partner in the German automotive after-market, which is Europe’s largest market and a new country for the Group. Mobivia Groupe’s mission to ‘Make Mobility Easier’ drives our business strategy both in terms of organic and external growth, supported by the sound financial basis of a family-owned and therefore independent group. We are delighted to welcome over 600 new service points and the 10,000 ATU employees, which will enable new synergies and exciting opportunities, while maintaining our shared focus on customers”.
Jörn Werner, CEO of A.T.U, commented: “As one of the leading international companies in automotive workshops, Mobivia Groupe is an ideal strategic owner for us. We will continue to manage the transformation process in order to bring ATU back to profitable growth. As part of the Mobivia Groupe, significant strategic synergies for the combined businesses have been identified in areas including purchasing, logistics, and through the exchange of technical expertise.”