City & Corporate: CVC appoints Tulchan for Kwik-Fit sale

CVC Capital Partners has drafted in Tulchan Communications ahead of its planned sale of car repair chain Kwik-Fit.

Sources said Tulchan had been engaged to handle PR around a trade sale of the business, control of which CVC bought from Ford in 1999.

Nobody at CVC was available to talk to PRWeek about the appointment, though retained agency The Hogarth Partnership said the company was not prepared to make any comment about reports of the Kwik-Fit sale.

Tulchan founder Andrew Grant is believed to be leading the account.

It first emerged in February that CVC planned to sell Kwik-Fit for a reported £800m and had hired Deutsche Bank to manage the sale.

An £800m price tag would be ten times Kwik-Fit's earnings last year and create a £350m capital gain on CVC's 70 per cent stake.

CVC reportedly paid £350m for Kwik -Fit in 2002 after Ford decided to sell the business at a loss of around £670m. The venture capitalist is said to have financed the deal with debt, a vendor loan from Ford and £100m of equity.

Ford had bought the business in 1999 from founder Sir Tom Farmer for £1bn and kept a 20 per cent stake, with Kwik-Fit management having a combined ten per cent stake.

Farmer founded Kwik-Fit in 1971 before building the business into Europe's largest car repair network.

Kwik-Fit operates 670 service centres in the UK and a further 1,100 outlets across the Continent.

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