Belron Acquires Safelite - FAQ Page 2
How is this relationship with BELRON different than the one established after the 1997 Safelite/Vistar merger?
Safelite Group and BELRON have a shared history, though both companies have changed significantly since they last worked together. In the late 1990s, BELRON owned a minority equity interest in Safelite Group. BELRON divested its ownership interest during Safelite's financial reorganization in 2000. The two companies maintained a mutual respect and admiration over the years. Through this acquisition, BELRON's ownership position is now 100 percent and Safelite Group will now be owned by a 110-year-old business with a sole focus on the automotive glass repair and replacement market.
The Safelite of 2007 is a very different business than the Safelite of the 1990s. Since then, Safelite embarked on an innovative and highly efficient customer-focused business model, led by a strong and motivated management team, with a track record of profitable growth.
BELRON's overall business philosophy has evolved as well. In the 1990s, BELRON operated as a group of independent companies operating autonomously in each country. However, during the past five years it has accelerated its global growth strategy and shifted to a collaborative management system that took advantage of sharing best practices amongst its diverse businesses. It has fine-tuned its ability to identify high-performing businesses and strategically integrate them. It now operates in 29 countries and last year served more than 5 million customers. It has developed sophisticated processes and structures to share best practices globally, evolving from a group of independent companies to a global entity that manages its strong brands in the country in which it operates.
BELRON's existing business in the U.S. is quite different from the Vistar of 10 years ago. BELRON made the strategic decision to re-enter the U.S. market, the largest automotive glass repair and replacement market in the world, in 2005. Today, BELRON owns two of the leading brands in the U.S. Industry - AUTO GLASS SPECIALISTSTM and ELITE AUTO GLASSTM. This brand awareness was something that BELRON did not possess in the 1990s, but which now forms the basis of its on-going strategy.
Safelite's customers, business partners and associates will benefit from a parent company that is committed to the automotive glass installation and repair industry and passionate about sharing best practices globally with profitable growth at the center of its U.S. ambitions.
Would this be a merger or acquisition?
BELRON is acquiring Safelite Group Inc. The operations of BELRON Inc. (BELRON's U.S. operation) will be merged with the much larger U.S. operations of Safelite.
Are there additional plans to expand or buy other companies?
Yes. This transaction is part of an overarching plan to expand in an industry teeming with potential. Growth will be organic and through additional strategic targeted acquisitions. Safelite's customers, business partners and associates will benefit from a parent company committed to the automotive glass industry and passionate about sharing best practices globally with profitable growth at the core of its U.S. ambitions.
What brand or name would be used?
Upon closing of the transaction, the corporate name will be BELRON USTM.
Combining the Safelite Group and BELRON Inc. businesses in the United States presents a unique opportunity to embrace and enhance each of the organization's strong brands that have high consumer awareness. BELRON has a history of maximizing the brand value of the companies it has acquired.
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