UPDATE: GIC, BlackRock, Hellman & Friedman to acquire Belron stake

Euro coinsPhoto by Leslie Shaffer

This article was originally published on Wednesday, 14 July 2021 at 13:54 SGT; it has since been updated with details of Belron’s earnings. 

Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC, alongside Hellman & Friedman and funds managed by BlackRock Private Equity Partners, will acquire a stake of up to 13 percent in Belron, the vehicle glass repair and replacement company said Monday.

The investors will be acquiring the shares from funds managed by Clayton, Dubilier & Rice (CD&R), which will keep an around 24 percent stake in the company, Belron said in a press release.

D’leteren, a holding company with other businesses including D’leteren Automotive, Moleskin and D’leteren Immo, will remain Belron’s majority shareholder, the statement said.

In a separate statement, D’leteren said the deal gives Belron an enterprise value of 21 billion euros, resulting in an equity value of 17.2 billion euros. D’leteren holds 50.01 percent of Belron.

Hellman & Friedman will become the third-largest shareholder with an around 9 percent stake, D’leteren said.

The deal “foresees” a new capital allocation policy to gradually reduce Belron’s leverage to three times earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (ebitda) by 2025 from the current 4.1 times, Beligium-based D’leteren said.

“We are convinced that this renewed and extended partnership will support Belron on its growth path and we appreciate the trust that is placed on its strategy. Belron will fully benefit from their vast experience in the business services industry, supporting its purpose to make a difference with real care and contributing to the continued development worldwide,” Nicolas D’leteren, chairman of D’leteren Group and Belron, said in the statement.

Belron operates in 40 countries on six continents, with both wholly owned and franchised operations; its brands include Carglass, Safelite AutoGlass, Autoglass, Lebeau, O’Brien, Smith&Smith and Speedy Glass.

In fiscal 2020, Belron reported turnover of 3.90 billion euros, down 7.8 percent from 4.23 billion euros a year earlier. In its annual report, the company noted earnings were hurt by pandemic-related lockdowns, which reduced demand for vehicle glass repair and replacement as well as significantly lowering miles driven in most markets.

GIC, which manages Singapore’s foreign reserves, has around $453.2 billion under management, according to data from the Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute.