Car Repair

U.S. Owners Avert ATU Bankruptcy

  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    The deal between ATU and Mobivia, which has yet to be finalized, would save Germany’s largest car-repair chain from insolvency and prevents the loss of 10,000 jobs in Germany.

  • Facts

    Facts

    • Founded in 1985, ATU now has 577 workshops across Germany, 25 in Austria and 6 in Switzerland.
    • The firm has annual revenues of more than €1 billion ($1.1 billion).
    • Goldman Sachs, Centerbridge, Babson Capital and Caspian became owners of ATU after a debt-to-shares conversion and equity issue in 2013. French counterpart Mobivia is set to take over ATU for €225 million, or $239 million, sources told Handelsblatt.
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    Audio

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Autowerkstattkette ATU
ATU has teetered on the brink of insolvency but clinched a deal with Mobivia. Source: Armin Weigel, DPA

ATU, Germany’s largest network of auto servicing and car parts stores, has averted bankruptcy thanks to a last-minute agreement that concluded months of rescue talks.

The deal will relieve ATU shareholders Goldman Sachs, Centerbridge, Babson Capital and Caspian of an asset, which has caused the owners more than half a billion euros of their investment.

A few hours before a 21-day deadline expired on Thursday night, the negotiating parties agreed in principle to the rescue of ATU.

Sources said on Thursday evening that real estate company Lino, which owns hundreds of ATU outlets, agreed to reduce the crippling rents the company pays for its workshops, thus fulfilling the precondition that Mobivia, ATU’s French equivalent, had set on any takeover deal.

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