ABRIS ACQUIRES MAJORITY STAKE IN AAA AUTO GROUP FOR € 220 MILLION

Abris Capital Partners today contracted to acquire a majority shareholding in AAA AUTO Group.  The transaction has been approved by the Czech Anti-monopoly office. Once the transaction obtains clearance from other, non-Czech, anti-monopoly authorities, Abris will secure ownership of over 95% of the Group. The value of the transaction is € 220 million.

“Today, the 2-year process for the sale of a majority stake in AAA AUTO Group has been formally confirmed. I am glad the Group now has a strong international financial investor," said Karolína Topolová, CEO of AAA AUTO.

The transaction has already been approved by the Czech Antimonopoly Office (ÚOHS) and now awaits clearance from the anti-monopoly bodies of three additional countries – Slovakia, Russia and Ukraine. Decisions are expected within a few weeks.

“The new majority owner will then formally take over the Group´s business. We do not expect any personnel or business model changes. The new investor has asked Mr Anthony Denny to retain a role as strategic advisor to the company’s senior management,” added Topolová.

AAA AUTO founder, Anthony James Denny, who has divested his entire holding of 81.4% in AAA AUTO Group, said: “Abris have acquired a high-quality and highly profitable asset with a proven track record in Central and Eastern Europe, and with considerable potential for further profit growth through regional expansion.”

Commenting on the transaction, Paweł Gieryński, Partner and Chief Investment Officer at Abris, stated that “From the very first meeting, I have been impressed by the professionalism of the entire management team of AAA Auto. This is by far the largest, most modern and most innovative franchise of used cars in the countries in which it operates. With our support, we would like to grow the business to become the dominant player across all of Central and Eastern Europe.”

“The Management Team of AAA Auto has already proven its skills in international expansion. We want to continue that strategy and quickly enter the Polish and Romanian markets, where AAA AUTO will expand rapidly in 2015 and 2016/2017 respectively,” said Wojciech Łukawski, a Partner at Abris.

Through its regional operations, Abris has made investments in many of CEE’s leading companies including, most recently: Masterlease – the leader of car fleet management in Poland; Etos – a Polish fashion-apparel retailer and owner of the ‘Diverse’ brand; Uskom – a recycling and waste management company headquartered in Poland; and, Cargus - a leading parcel-delivery business in Romania.

Abris is committed to acquire 100% ownership of the AAA Group. Any minority shareholder of AAA Auto Group interested in offering its shares to Abris Capital Partners is invited in the first instance to contact Ms. Lenka Zajickova (lenka.zajickova@aaaauto.cz) at AAA Auto - up to and until 31.12.2014.