BRITAIN’S biggest tyre retailer Kwik-Fit has been sold to a Japanese trading house for £637m, it is understood.
Kwik-Fit’s European owner, private equity firm PAI Partners, is said to have sold the auto repair chain to Tokyo-based Itochu Corporation, which also owns Stapleton Tyre Services.
PAI, which declined to comment on the deal, paid £800mfor the chain in 2005 and recently sold Kwik-Fit’s £215m insurance arm to Belgium’s Ageas.
Kwik-Fit accounts for 20% of the UK tyre market and employs 4,602 staff across 673 branches. It has 545 branches across Europe.