ABRA Auto Body & Glass Seeks New Owner

ABRA Auto Body & Glass is in the market for a new private equity owner. “It is a good time to capitalize,” says Duane Rouse, ABRA’s president and CEO. And the company’s management sees automotive glass repair and replacement services playing a big role in the company’s ongoing expansion.

“We’ve been private-equity owned since 1997 and we’re good at it. This will not be disruptive to business,” he adds.

This will be the fifth time the company has sought out new private equity ownership.

“In 2011, we set a five-year growth plan and we hit that plan early,” says Rouse.

ABRA could be worth $500 million, according to one report.

Palladium Equity Partners LLC acquired the company in 2011.

“Palladium Equity Partners is a middle market private equity firm with more than $2.5 billion in assets under management,” according to the company’s website. “Palladium seeks to acquire and grow companies in partnership with founders and experienced management teams by providing capital, strategic guidance and operational oversight.”

In July 2013, the private equity company announced that it has completed the recapitalizations of two portfolio companies, including ABRA.

“The recapitalization of ABRA allowed for the return of approximately $24 million in capital to investors in Palladium Equity Partners III, representing 44 percent of invested capital,” according to a company statement.

Since Palladium’s initial investment in October 2011, ABRA has sped up its growth, completing ten add-on acquisitions and increasing EBITDA by more than 80 percent.

In April, ABRA Auto Body & Glass showed its push for growth by purchasing 24 Collision Centers of America in Chicago, the surrounding communities and Northwest Indiana.

As for its automotive glass side of the business, the company’s national glass center does price quoting, dispatches jobs to technicians, orders parts and more. The call center has business and marketing personnel in-house to support the company’s expansion. Automotive glass repair and replacement services are offered in the majority of the markets the company does business in.

“We have business and marketing folks that talk with agents about claims originations and also talk to OEM parts’ dealers,” Scott Krohn, executive vice president of operations, said in an interview last year. “While selling collision, it doesn’t take a lot more effort to talk about glass. We do a lot of business for OEM dealers and most are not in the glass business. We buy a significant amount of OEM parts each year and so we get glass referrals. It’s a win, win relationship with dealers. The call center does virtually everything for the glass transaction, with the exception of installation.”

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