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PPG to acquire Brown Brothers from Unipart Automotive



By Tim Wright



Published December 19, 2007
Related Searches: Automotive Refinish
PPG Industries, through a European subsidiary, has agreed to purchase the bodyshop distribution business of Unipart Automotive. The transaction is expected to close on or about Jan. 31, 2008. The business will operate as a subsidiary of PPG under the name Brown Brothers Distribution UK Ltd. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The acquisition includes 34 distribution branches that supply refinish paint to bodyshops. In addition, acquired assets are to include inventory, selected equipment, brand names and customer lists. Following the change of ownership, approximately 475 Unipart Automotive bodyshop employees will transfer with the business under Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) (TUPE) regulations.

John McGowan, PPG market director, United Kingdom and Ireland, said, "This acquisition will enable us to continue to provide customers with compelling solutions in automotive refinish." He added that the acquisition offers PPG growth opportunities in adjacent markets, although third-party distributor relationships will still be a crucial part of its U.K. operations.

"We are continuing to accelerate our profitable growth in coatings by making strategic acquisitions, such as this one in the United Kingdom, which is an important market," said J. Rich Alexander, PPG senior vice president, coatings. "By acquiring Brown Brothers, PPG will be able to leverage new opportunities and strengthen its presence in the U.K. bodyshop business."

Dennis Henderson, managing director of Unipart Automotive, said, "This year, our strategic focus has been on developing and growing the business in our core propositions." When reviewing options for the paint and refinish side of its business following an internal review, Henderson said, "We came to the conclusion that the best opportunities for the business would be under the ownership of a key industry supplier, and because of our long relationship with PPG - one of the largest and most reputable refinish suppliers - it was the natural choice. We firmly believe this decision is in the best interests of all key stakeholders, and it will lead to a more profitable and secure future for the paint and refinish business."


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