Consolidation in the collision industry continues to march forward at an astounding pace. The largest companies in the industry continue to aggressively grow through acquisitions, or by buying existing collision repair operators. And as these companies continue to aggressively expand we see continued consolidation in adjacent segments that sell into the industry, especially in paint distribution and parts distribution.
Fenix Auto Parts is an example of ongoing consolidation. Fenix, a public company listed on the NYSE, was recently taken public by executives from medical supply recycler Stericycle with the explicit goal of consolidating the fragmented automotive recycling segment through acquisitions. Carl Icahn, the multi-billionaire activist investor recently acquired Pep Boys after besting Bridgestone Tire in a billion dollar deal. Mr. Icahn also owns Federal-Mogul (maker of suspension and powertrain components) and Auto Plus, a retailer and distributor of aftermarket parts, until recently owned by FinishMaster’s parent company Uni-Select. Uni-Select themselves see opportunity in growing both their parts and paint businesses through acquisitions. Warren Buffet recently acquired the Van Tuyl Group, the 5th largest dealership group in North America, also with the objective to grow through acquisitions. Icahn is also rumored to be eying a move into the automotive dealerships space as well. Consolidation is taking place across the automotive segment.