“I’m Not Bidding” – Tom Farmer
Tom Farmer also said that he was not connected with any of the bidders and that he and top managers John Houston (director of strategy and business development) and Peter Holmes (group marketing director) had resigned from the board to give any potential bidders a free hand. Farmer did say that he would be happy to work with whoever bought Kwik-Fit, adding: “If there is someone who wants to use our experience then we will work with them. But if they have their own team, then we wish them every success.
” And if they turned down his offer? According to the article, Sir Tom said that he would devote his time to his property businesses and might start up a retailing operation.Farmer revealed that raising money for a bid would not have been a problem – he was approached by no fewer than twelve institutions – but the difficulty was the thought that parts of the business would have to be disposed off to reduce the enormous debt which would inevitably have been part of any deal. It seems that Kwik-Fit was Sir Tom’s baby and he could not face the thought of breaking it up or selling parts of it off.
According to analysts, Kwik-Fit is worth around 500 million Pounds, or half what Ford paid for it three years ago, and there have been reports that as many as 35 bids were received for the group. Again according to the Glasgow Herald, these have been whittled down to six, who will submit detailed bids, from which Ford will choose two or three. Those selected will be given access to Kwik-Fit’s finances in order to prepare a final bid, with the winner expected to emerge some time in May.