Driven Brands, Inc., a portfolio company of Roark Capital and the nation’s leading franchise automotive company, announced that it has acquired Kansas-based CARSTAR Auto Body Repair Experts. CARSTAR is one of the largest multi-shop networks of independently-owned collision repair facilities in the U.S., operating in more than 240 locations in 30 states.
“At Driven Brands, we are committed to expanding our footprint through the acquisitions of complementary brands that can help elevate our presence in the communities we serve,” said Jonathan Fitzpatrick, president and CEO of Driven Brands. “CARSTAR – an iconic brand that is well-recognized and respected by leading insurance companies – brings us additional expertise in the collision repair business. We are excited about the strength this addition brings to the Driven Brands family, creating an unrivaled North American powerhouse in automotive franchising.”
The acquisition gives Driven Brands the opportunity to create a new division called Paint & Collision, which will be led by current Maaco Franchising, Inc. President Jose R. Costa and comprised of Maaco, CARSTAR and Drive N Style. While operating as separate brands, the division’s new structure will allow the business to streamline services and share expertise to improve the customer experience and profitability for franchisees. CARSTAR will retain its current management team led by its CEO, David Byers.
“We will benefit from Driven Brands and the Roark Capital team’s extensive franchising knowledge across a number of retail categories including automotive, retail services and restaurants,” said Byers. “And there are many opportunities for improving operational efficiencies, customer engagement and national branding as part of their portfolio. This move also will bring new capital resources to CARSTAR to continue to drive our growth.”
Costa has served as president of Maaco for the last three years and will apply his expertise to lead the Paint & Collision business segment. He will blend best practices and create opportunities to leverage purchasing power across the system.
“We are energized by the addition of CARSTAR to the Driven Brands portfolio, and know it will play an important part in the newly created Paint & Collision business segment,” said Costa. “I look forward to working with the new members of our franchisee family and to bringing technological developments and competitive pricing to all of our customers.”
Driven Brands manages a family of automotive companies including MAACO, Meineke Car Care Centers, 1-800 Radiator, Merlin 200,000 Mile Shops, Pro Oil Change, Econo Lube & Tune, AutoQual, Aero-Colours and Drive N Style. Incorporating CARSTAR into the Driven Brands portfolio, the brands will now generate annual system revenues of approximately $1 billion through 2,000 locations in 48 states and two countries.
After a record year in 2014 for sales and growth, CARSTAR finished the first half of 2015 with system-wide sales of $386 million, which puts it on track to outpace its performance in 2014. In 2015, CARSTAR stores in the U.S. have generated year-to-date same store sales increases of 8.3 percent, outpacing the overall collision repair industry average by more than four percent.
CARSTAR represents the 11th acquisition for Driven Brands since 2013, expanding its footprint to more than 2,000 franchise locations in the U.S.