The Parts Alliance group has significantly strengthened its position as an industry leader in the automotive aftermarket after reaching a landmark agreement for investors HgCapital (HgC) to acquire the business ‘The Parts Alliance Ltd’ along with its Central Facilities operations of offices in Solihull and central warehouse in Smethwick, both in the Birmingham area and from where it services its members.
The acquisition, completed on Friday 4 April, sees Peter Sephton becoming Chief Executive and pledging ‘to build an industry leading board of industry experts’ to drive the enhanced business forward with quick decision-making and ‘best in class’ systems and practices.
Peter Sephton retains his role as Group CEO of the HgCapital-owned Parts Alliance members which trade under local brand names and are organised into The Western Alliance and The Eastern Alliance.
The other member companies (BBC Superfactors, BMS Superfactors, Car Parts & Accessories, Dingbro, Mill Autoquip, Motex and Qualvecom) become associate members. They continue to trade as independent businesses and were not part of the acquisition, though remain fully involved in The Parts Alliance activities with representation on the board. At the same time Central Auto Supplies will leave the group and has been granted a six-month notice period.
Sephton said: “From the outset we and our investors, HgCapital, recognised the value and potential of The Parts Alliance as a leading industry organisation. This further investment provides scope for enhancing performance further through a more dynamic and unified operating model.
“This will see us able to deliver even greater value to our members, suppliers and customers, both national accounts and, through our members, independent garages.
“The Parts Alliance is already one of the leading automotive buying and distribution groups in the UK and Ireland and we confidently believe that we can be even better,” said Sephton.
Early objectives will include the adoption of a more integrated commercial function, allowing greater clarity and visibility of the business and a customer and service-centric approach, with closer relationships with clients and sharper management of the supplier base. There is also the opportunity for new member distributors.
Sephton added: “It is important to underline that although we fully intend to enhance and revitalise elements of the operation, The Parts Alliance will very much remain a consultative business group at its heart, operating with joined-up commercial thinking.
“This deal is a game-changer not just for The Parts Alliance but for the aftermarket. There is much change and uncertainty in the marketplace. But here we have an organisation that is powered for growth with HgCapital behind it, expert investors with a two billion pounds fund and a heritage of seeking out and backing industry champions.”
The Parts Alliance Chairman and founder Steve Fulford, who was central to negotiations as they evolved over the past year, is stepping down but will continue to advise the board.
He said: “This further investment by HgCapital is more positive news for The Parts Alliance. As the largest unified national player in the aftermarket, this deal will not only help build on the group’s achievements of the past 14 years but, through developing a best in class commercial structure and an invigorated team, it heralds good news for all involved.”