We were proud to have represented Fix Auto USA and its largest MSO franchisee ACAB in their sale to Driven Brands. In particular it was gratifying to have worked with industry luminaries Erick and Shelly Bickett and Paul Gange in helping them find the right partner to build on and be rewarded for nearly 30 years of success in collision.
Our press release follows:
Focus Advisors Represents Fix Auto USA and Auto Center Auto Body in a sale to Driven Brands
April 20, 2020 – FOCUS Advisors is proud to announce the sale of the franchisor 79411,Inc. dba Fix Auto USA and its largest MSO franchisee, Auto Center Auto Body, Inc. to Driven Brands, a portfolio company of Roark Capital.
With 152 current locations, rapidly growing Fix Auto USA, the US licensee of the Fix Auto brand, is the franchise of choice for premier collision repair operators in the US. Auto Center Auto Body, a 9 location MSO in Southern California owned by Erick and Shelly Bickett, is also one of Fix USA’s top performing operations. Driven Brands a portfolio company of Roark Capital operates more than 3,100 auto aftermarket locations in seven separate firms including collision repair franchisors Carstar, ABRA and MAACO.
David Roberts, Managing Director of FOCUS who led the transaction commented on the impact of this industry realignment and what it foretells, “Together with Carstar and their recent ABRA franchise acquisition, Driven Brands is now positioned as the primary home for operators that want to remain independent in a time of accelerating consolidation. Additionally, the acquisition of ACAB positions Driven to begin building its own consolidation platform.”
Fix Auto USA CEO Paul Gange commented that “As a competitor to Driven Brands’ Carstar franchise, we’ve been impressed with their increasing professionalism and marketing impact. As an independent brand under the Driven umbrella, we expect to gain access to industry-leading franchise expertise, synergies, and capital to accelerate and successfully manage the next phase of Fix USA’s growth.”
Erick and Shelly Bickett, co-founders of Fix Auto USA, have been collision industry pioneers since they opened their first Auto Center Auto Body shop in 1984. They also co-founded CEICA in 1995, Cyncast in 2000, and CCI training institute in 2015. Shelly and Erick Bickett will both continue to advise Driven Brands.
In selling their interests in both the franchisor and the MSO, Erick reflected “For years, we’ve contemplated how independent operators could continue to do what they do best and still have the opportunity to access capital and exit their businesses when they were ready. We have worked with Dave Roberts over many years to help craft our strategy and ultimately represent us in our own exit event. The current climate made the combination more challenging but we are pleased to cement this vital partnership with Driven.”
Co-founder, Shelly Bickett, who was instrumental in growing ACAB to one of the top-performing collision businesses in the highly competitive Southern California market, commented, “Erick and I created Fix Auto USA to provide the kind of scale and professional support for smaller MSOs and individual shops that allowed them to effectively compete against the consolidators. With new capital and an expanded team, we expect to continue and expand our competitive position in the California market.”
About FOCUS Advisors and David Roberts:
FOCUS Advisors (focusadvisors.com) is a full-service FINRA-registered M&A advisory firm serving collision industry entrepreneurs looking for advice about growth and sale options, representing them in raising capital or selling their businesses. Managing Director, David Roberts has been the industry’s leading advisor to MSOs and single shops with more than 20 industry transactions in the last 5 years including recent sales of large MSOs such as Price’s Collision in Nashville and Herb’s Body and Paint in Dallas.
Investment Banking Services and Securities offered through Independent Investment Bankers Corp. a broker-dealer, Member FINRA/SIPC. FOCUS Advisors is not affiliated with Independent Investment Bankers Corp.