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EC Approves Kwik-Fit Acquisition

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Following the approval of its acquisition by Itochu Corp., investment in new Kwik-Fit outlets is continuing with plans to open 10 new centers this year and a similar number in 2012.

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Prior to the launch of the latest centre investment programme, Kwik-Fit operated a 669-center network, supported by a mobile fleet of more than 200 vehicles.

“Center locations are continually kept under review,” commented Kwik-Fit Fleet sales director Peter Lambert. “The company has identified a number of hotspots where we do not have centre coverage. As and when suitable locations become available we have plans to open further outlets.”

Kwik-Fit is pushing on with its long-term investment strategy at a time that business is, in the company’s own words, buoyant. The fast fitter recorded a 43% rise in MoTs performed and a 35% increase in vehicle servicing during the first quarter of 2011 compared with the same period last year. This start to the year continues an already evident trend, added Lambert: “Last year saw a near 50% increase last year in the number of fleet MoTs undertaken when compared with 2009 figures and a 16% rise in fleet car and van servicing. Kwik-Fit may have been launched as a supplier of tires, batteries and exhausts but today the company is a one-stop shop for all van service, maintenance and repair requirements.”

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On May 12, the European Commission announced it had cleared Itochu’s acquisition of Kwik-Fit holding company Speedy 1 Limited. After examining the operation, the Commission concluded the transaction “would not significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area (EEA) or any substantial part of it.” Its examination of the proposed transaction showed that “Itochu and Speedy together have only a limited market presence on the markets for automotive repair and replacement services and the wholesale supply of replacement tires.”

In addition, the Commission concluded that the “combination of Itochu’s activities in the wholesale supply of replacement tires and Speedy’s activities in automotive repair and replacement services would not lead to shutting out competitors because a sufficient number of alternative suppliers exist from which the procurement of tires would still be possible after the acquisition.”  (Tyres & Accessories)

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