Genuine Parts to enter European market with $2 billion deal

(Reuters) - Genuine Parts Co GPC.N, one of the leading U.S. car parts distributors, announced its foray into the European market on Monday with a deal to buy peer Alliance Automotive Group for about $2 billion, including debt.

With the move, Genuine Parts will compete directly with LKQ Corp LKQ.N, the No.1 automotive parts distributor by gross billings in the 68-billion-euro ($80.8 billion) European light vehicle aftermarket.

Genuine Parts’ shares, down nearly 8 percent since the beginning of the year, were up 7.1 percent at $94.26 in morning trade.

Other big players in the European light vehicle aftermarket include UK-based Parts Alliance and Poland-based Inter Cars CARP.WA.

London-headquartered Alliance Automotive distributes parts for light and commercial vehicles in France, Germany and the UK. It has 7,500 employees and more than 1,800 company-owned stores and affiliated outlets in Europe.

“At the distributor level, AAG’s markets represent approximately 47 percent of the total European light vehicle aftermarket,” providing Genuine Parts an “attractive” entry into Europe, Jefferies analyst Bret Jordan said.

Alliance Automotive is expected to have revenue of about $1.7 billion this year, said Genuine Parts, which itself is expected to generate about $15.95 billion in 2017 revenue, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Atlanta-based Genuine Parts, which operates about 7,300 stores, is also present in the Canadian, Mexican and Australasian markets, but gets more than 80 percent of its annual revenue from the United States.

Genuine Parts will buy Alliance Automotive from its co-founders and private equity funds managed by Blackstone BX.N.

The deal, expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2017, will add 65 to 70 cents per share to Genuine Parts’ adjusted earnings in 2018, the company said.

JPMorgan advised Genuine Parts on the deal, while Lazard and UBS advised Alliance Automotive.

Reporting by Ankit Ajmera in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D’Souza and Sai Sachin Ravikumar