The Swedish car glass specialist Cary group has announced the acquisition of both Autoglass Clinic and Touring Glass, which are the second and third most important glass repair players in Belgium after the undisputed market leader Car Glass. ‘We want to grow into a strong number two”, says Charline Leroi from AutoGlass Clinic, who remains at the helm after the takeover.
Cary Group is an established automotive aftermarket group with Swedish roots, deploying a speedy expansion strategy as it seeks economies of scale. With the acquisition of Autoglass Clinic and Touring Glass, it secures itself a steady position in Belgium, a market where it was not present until today. The name Touring Glass, a division from the well-known association for car owners, will disappear and, from now on, fare under the brand Autoglass Clinic.
Battling a household name
Together, the number two and three on the Belgian car glass repair market rely on a network of 67 workshops, compared to 40 from competitor Car Glass. The market share of the latter, owned by Belron from D’Ieteren, is more than 50% in Belgium. It’s a household name, but facing stiffer competition now following the move by Cary Group.
Anders Jens, CEO of Cary Group, commented: “Belgium is an attractive market with high vehicle glass repair and replacement insurance penetration. (…) Expanding into Belgium is part of Cary Group’s European consolidation journey and growth agenda, and the acquisitions create additional regional and national coverage for our insurance companies.” The Swedish group is on a path of assertive growth in Europe, seeking to pay out on an expensive take-over from two private equity owners.
Salient fact: Autoglass Clinic is rooted in Carglass. Charline Leroi’s father, Hugo Leroi, founded the company in 1979 but sold it to Belron afterwards. When legally allowed, in 2001, he stepped into competitor Autoglass Clinic, which he handed over to his daughter a few years later. After the current acquisition from Cary Group, Charline remains in the driver’s seat. Together with CEO Joei Lieten, she will oversee the integration of Touring Glass and the daily operations.
Both managers ran a successful collaboration during the past years. They doubled the turnover in their glass repair services. Touring Glass, founded to battle the dominance of Carglass on the Belgian market, has a less sunny track record. Since its beginnings one decade ago, it never managed to report a profit. The subsidiary will now serve as a vehicle to substantially grow the domestic presence of Autoglass Clinic. The Cary Group didn’t release details on the sum of the acquisition.
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