National Auto Care targets acquisitions under new owner
National Auto Care, under new ownership, is preparing to go shopping.
National Auto Care's acquisition by private equity firm Lovell Minnick Partners will give the F&I product provider the capital and expertise to broaden its business over the next few years, CEO Tony Wanderon said.
He said National Auto Care has identified a half dozen companies -- including independent agents, technology companies and providers of F&I-related services and products -- as potential acquisition targets in the next few years.
"It's hard to talk about innovation until you see it," Wanderon told Automotive News. "We'll be looking for complementary companies to go out and buy to add to our organization."
National Auto Care, established in 1984, is one of the longest operating F&I providers. Its products include vehicle service contracts, guaranteed asset protection, limited warranty, tire, wheel and a suite of ancillary protection products.
Wanderon said that expansion could be in areas in which the company does business, where an acquisition would provide more scale to compete with larger, big-box brands.
The Jacksonville, Fla., company, which Wanderon said has annual revenue of more than $100 million, expects to at least triple revenue in the next three years through acquisitions and organic growth. The revenue goal isn't too ambitious for the company, Wanderon said, noting that National Auto Care has increased its revenue 15 to 25 percent in each of the past five years.
National Auto Care works with independent agents to provide its products to more than 2,300 dealership clients.
Wanderon said the company wants to make it easier for customers to handle claims online using tablets or smartphones.
Lovell Minnick Partners replaces Trivest Partners as National Auto Care's majority investor. Trivest Partners, another private equity firm, acquired National Auto Care in 2012.
The road to Lovell Minnick Partners' purchase began about nine months ago and involved more than 20 companies initially interested in acquiring National Auto Care, Wanderon said.
The executive leadership team at National Auto Care will continue day-to-day management of the company, according to a statement, and will continue its operations in Westerville, Ohio; Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.; and Miami.
Lovell Minnick Partners, which has offices in Philadelphia, Los Angeles, and New York, was the best choice for National Auto Care, Wanderon told Automotive News. He said the firm's experience would be critical as the company moves into acquisition mode.
The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter.
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