International auto glass installation company Belron has signed a letter of intent to purchase the assets of Auto Glass Specialists Inc., the well-known little red truck installation company based in Madison, Wisconsin.
The sale is a major reversal of direction for the 44-year old company, as president Robert Birkhauser had already announced it was in final negotiations to sell the assets of the business to Glass America. The deal had been expected to close in early September but did not.
Birkhauser had no comment on the change in buyers. Sources familiar who declined to be identified with the deal said negotiations had gotten increasingly more difficult and that both sides were unhappy with the progress being made.
Glass America president David Rohlfing had no comment, neither did Belron president Gary Lubner.
Belron, the worlds largest auto glass retailer, re-entered the U.S. market earlier this year with its purchase of Elite Auto Glass in Denver. Elites former president, Wes Topping, now serves as president of Belron Inc. in the United States. The addition of AGS to its stable gives Belron a solid base in the Upper Midwest and a business model that caters to both consumers and insurers.
In April, AGRR editor Brigid OLeary interviewed Belron CEO Gary Lubner at the completion of the companys purchase of Elite. When asked if he was looking to the former members of the National Auto Glass Cooperative as potential acquisitions, he responded: Ill answer that two ways. Number one, were not in discussions with anyone at the moment. Number two, we believe that strong regional players are always going to be an interest to Belron.
For more information on AGS, http://www.littleredtruck.com/
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