Phoenix goes Nationwide

The ownership of MOT and car servicing group Nationwide Autocentres has changed hands, with private equity house NBGI selling the business on to rival Phoenix Equity Partners in a £49 million deal.

The sale represents NBGI’s third profitable exit in 12 months.

When NBGI first backed a management buy-in of the business in 2001, Nationwide operated from 41 locations. Following a series of acquisitions of centres from the RAC and Kwik-Fit amongst others, it now owns 213, making it one of the largest players in the sector.

The transaction will also see several management changes, with current chief executive Tom Dunn stepping down and RAC veteran Duncan Wilkes taking the reins. Alongside Wilkes, who hopes to continue expanding the number of outlets Nationwide operates, Phoenix is also introducing a new chief operating officer (Bill Duffy) and finance director (Andy Stevens).

The sale of NBGI’s interest in Nationwide follows last year’s exit from European recruitment firm Walker Hamill and partial realisation of its stake in AIM-listed portable accommodation group Wraith.

Leslie Copeland

Leslie Copeland

Leslie was made Editor for Growth Company Investor magazine in 2000, then headed up the launch of Business XL magazine, and then became Editorial Director in 2007 for the online and print publication portfolio...

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