Safelite Group to Acquire Assets of Guardian Auto Glass **Updated

Safelite® Group has reached an agreement to acquire substantially all of the vehicle glass repair and replacement assets of Guardian Auto Glass LLC, a joint venture of Guardian Industries Corp. and LRST LLC.

Additionally, Safelite Group has reached an agreement to acquire the vehicle glass insurance claims management assets of Guardian Glass Network, not including its RV glass claims management operations. Contracts were signed on December 1, 2013 with an expected closing at the end of business on December 31, 2013. The acquisition is part of an international deal of the Belron® Group, which includes the purchase of the vehicle glass business of Guardian in Spain.

Guardian Auto Glass currently includes approximately 253 employees in 60 retail locations throughout the U.S. Guardian Auto Glass provides vehicle glass repair and replacement services in 12 states with a heavy emphasis in Ohio, Virginia, West Virginia and Florida. Guardian Auto Glass’ management team will assist in the transition.

Guardian Glass Network operates its vehicle glass claims administration operation in Worthington, Ohio, and has 21 employees, 13 of whom will join Safelite Solutions. The remaining Guardian Glass Network employees will continue to operate the RV glass claims program.

“Guardian’s well-established brand, commitment to high-quality customer service, and wide footprint made it attractive to Safelite in its goal to become the “natural choice” for vehicle glass repair and replacement services in the U.S.,” said Tom Feeney, president and CEO. “The acquisition positions Safelite to grow business in the impacted geographies. Additionally, the acquisition of the Guardian Glass Network will support the growth goals of Safelite Solutions aimed at helping insurance clients achieve policyholder delight.”

“Safelite is committed to its retail auto glass and insurance claims businesses as demonstrated by its dynamic growth in recent years,” said Mike Morrison, president of Guardian Automotive. “Our people are joining another established brand with a history of growth and a long term focus on the retail automotive glass business.”

Last week glassBYTEs reported that Guardian will exit the local distribution business.

This article is from glassBYTEs™, the free e-newsletter that covers the latest auto glass industry news. Click HERE to sign up—there is no charge. Interested in a deeper dive? Free subscriptions to Auto Glass Repair and Replacement (AGRR) magazine in print or digital format are available. Subscribe at no charge HERE.

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19 Responses to Safelite Group to Acquire Assets of Guardian Auto Glass **Updated

  1. Henry says:

    The Foreign company takeover continues!!

  2. Linda says:

    Really? Must Safelite take more? Havent us small businesses suffered enough? We have lost all of our referral work to Safelite. This is truly sad, that one must have to look at there business in a different aspect.

    If only they could share…………….

  3. Alex oliveira says:

    Who will it help small auto glass ?

  4. Kevin says:

    When is enough enough, Safelite-Gerber taking all the market and like Linda said all the small businesses have lost referral work from safelite and Gerber. But yet they say they are not steering. I thought monopolizing was illegal in the U.S.

  5. JESSICA says:

    I cant’ believe this actually happened! I’m in shock and I feel bad for the people who do not have a choice on glass shops. Safelite glass is crap!!!

  6. Tom says:

    What is next, PILKINGTON?

  7. Gene I. says:

    It would be refreshing if Feeney’s press releases would someday finally learn to speak English. Who in the hell, in their entire lives, has ever used the phrase “policyholder delight.” Usually he’s blathering about “customer delight.” This time, “policyholder delight.” The “natural choice” thing was idiotic when they first came up with it in 2010, and it’s still no less idiotic now. If anything, it’s even *more* idiotic.

    The saddest thing about it is he apparently has no foggy clue whatsoever as to how preposterous their and his marketing branding-speak really is. He’s like a guy that walks out of the men’s room with toilet paper stuck to the bottom of his shoe. Fast-forward a few years later, and there he is, walking around town with the same toilet paper still stuck to the bottom of his shoe.

  8. tom says:

    Who will be next P——–n ?

  9. Mike Boyle says:

    Come on, do none of you know the plans of Belron……. The US auto glass industry is being raped by a EU Giant!!!! The Wal Mart of WIndshields

  10. Brian says:

    It is truly unfortunate that a company like Safelite ( Belron ) has been able to steamroll the competition through the use of their TPA and squeeze out any competitors. And whomever they can’t bully into submission, they just appeal to the greed off company heads and buy them. Don’t really see anybody in the industry being able to stop what will continue… only the insurance companies can turn this back into a level playing field by not allowing a TPA to be affiliated with a installation chain.

  11. Gene I. says:

    What’s funny about the Guardian sale is that many of their employees used to work for Safelite. However, they left Safelite because both the compensation and the manner in which they were treated as employees was an abomination. Welcome back, it’s deja vu!

  12. Janet says:

    Sure starting to look like a Monopoly.

  13. OQ says:

    Unbridled capitalism for sure. Wally-esk also for sure! If what an educated auto glass customer is looking for is competent, consistent quality in customer service and technical expertise, Safelite is probably not the best choice. All of my customers in my 25yrs in the industry have eventually realized that! Just sayin!

  14. Chris says:

    I wish we could all put in for a lawyer team to stop this monopolizing giant! I am surprised it has gotten this far.

  15. scott says:

    i worked for safelite for 7 years trust me quialty is not their strong point they are getting rid of all the old techs and trying to train new ones.its not working the damages is unreal.its only a matter of time till they fall.i now work for gerber but I don’t see them doing any better.after 30 years in the business its going down hill,i wish it would go back to the 80s.

  16. NGA CERT TECH says:

    Surely the SEC would see the harm in this mess. Now everyone will loose their choice of having a quality piece of glass installed in their vehicle correctly vs. a piece of glass that is supposed to be DOT certified but I highly suspect most wouldn’t pass a real AS1 test, by someone that has probably not been in the business more than a few months. And what about all the folks that are working in places where safelite is already established. Congratulations Jim Latch! You really meant what you said when you said ” I plan to grow the business” but I bet all the folks that heard that line didn’t think they would have the business put in their back side!

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