Bapcor receives $1.9 billion private equity buyout bid

(Source: The Shock Shop)

Private equity firm Bain Capital has offered to acquire automotive parts retailer Bapcor in a NZ$1.9 billion deal.

Bapcor, which owns the Autobarn, Autopro, Burson and Midas chains, said it had received an unsolicited, conditional and non-binding proposal at A$5.40 per share after the sharemarket closed on June 7. The company added it had yet to finish assessing the merits of the offer. 

In New Zealand, Bapcor has more than 210 locations in the trade, service and specialist wholesale automotive aftermarket segments.

The retailer’s shares rose 14 per cent to close at $4.97 on Tuesday following the news, according to the Australian Financial Review.

Bain Capital declined to comment on this matter. The firm is the owner of Virgin Australia and the major player in a consortium that owns Accolade Wines.

Bapcor co-founder and former owner Garry Johnson, who remains a large investor in the company, told the AFR that the $5.40 per share price offer was too low.

“A once-great company, after a couple of years of poor management, shouldn’t be in this position,” Johnson said.

Meanwhile, Reuters cited analysts saying that the bid could draw more attention to Bapcor from other major industry players from offshore markets. “The automotive aftermarket is becoming increasingly global. Bapcor would offer potential suitors a strong position in the Asia Pacific region,” Reuters added.

Founded in 1971 and formerly known as Burson Auto Parts, Bapcor listed at $1.82 in 2014. The company has lowered profit expectations three times in the past year, citing challenging trading conditions.

In late April, Paul Dumbrell said he would not join the company as CEO due to a personal reason, just one day before he was scheduled to start the role.

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