Belron to acquire Safelite Group

Glass Magazine
February 22, 2007
AUTO : BUSINESS

Belron S.A. will acquire Safelite Group Inc., Columbus, Ohio.

The transaction is expected to close in March, and the integration of Denver-based Belron Inc., Belron’s U.S. operation, and Safelite operations will begin at that time. Upon closing, the newly combined organization will operate under the name Belron US, based out of Columbus.

Upon closing of the transaction, the senior leadership of the new entity, Belron US, will include from Safelite Group: Dan Wilson, president and chief executive officer; Thomas Feeney, executive vice president and chief client officer; Douglas Herron, executive vice president and chief financial officer; and Mark Smolik, senior vice president, general counsel and secretary, associate services, ethics officer. Additionally, Rich Harrison, current CEO of Belron Inc. will lead the integration of the two companies and be responsible for business development as senior vice president, strategy and business development. Wes Topping, current non-executive chairman of Belron Inc., will join the Belron US board in a non-executive capacity and will continue to search for additional strategic acquisitions.

"This acquisition is the early phase of an overarching plan to profitably grow market share in an industry teeming with potential," said Dan Wilson, president and chief executive officer of Safelite Group, in a release. "Growth will be organic and through additional strategic, targeted acquisitions. Safelite's customers, business partners and staff will benefit from a parent company with a global focus on the automotive glass industry. Belron is passionate about sharing best practices globally and has profitable growth at the center of its U.S. ambitions."

The merged Safelite Group and Belron Inc. operations will have less than 20 percent market share in the United States, according to a release. Belron posted global sales of $1.5 billion in 2005.

"Belron's 110-year track record of global success will position the combined Belron Inc. and Safelite companies with opportunities to provide more locations, increased capacity and expanded service offerings to individual consumers as well as insurance, fleet and commercial customers," said Gary Lubner, Group chief executive officer of Belron. "Leveraging the strength of Belron and Safelite Group's portfolio of brands, the combined companies will be in an optimal position to profitably grow each business segment: insurance, fleet, commercial, consumer and wholesale," added Lubner.