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Business Operations

Around the Industry

October 11, 2010
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Mister Car Wash acquires 9 carwashes
Mister Car Wash has acquired the Vintage Car Wash in El Paso, TX, consisting of nine carwashes and seven fast lube shops.

The acquisition helps accelerate Mister Car Wash’s strategic initiative to advance a unique carwash experience into new geographic markets.

Mister Car Wash now operates 60 carwashes and 24 fast lube shops in seven states. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Vintage Car Wash is owned by Professional Carwashing & Detailing’s 2007 Fast Lube Person of the Year, Rick Taff. The chain flew mostly under the radar and was never listed on industry charts of the largest conveyor carwash chains.

“Vintage was at the center of the trend to redefine the way people get their cars washed in El Paso” said Ron Peterson, CEO of Mister Car Wash. “We can’t wait to continue the momentum of this genuine success story.”

Pat Secord, vice president of operations, added, “Their focus on quality and everyday value made them the undisputed leader in the market. Our philosophies on how to deliver a great product were very similar. We can’t wait to build upon an already strong foundation.”

Sam’s Club plans carwash with new store
Sam’s Club is building a new store in Springfield, MO, that will include a gas station and carwash. The new store will feature numerous environmentally sustainable features, including a water reclamation system in the carwash that will recycle 60 percent of the water used.

Sam’s Club is also renovating its existing location in Springfield. The club will get a fresh coat of paint, new fixtures and a general upgrade. The company did not say if it will add a carwash to the existing store.

Sam’s Club, operated by Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., currently has 17 carwashes in operation throughout the United States. The company was included in PC&D’s November cover story, “Big Box Boom.”

Autobell opens its 48th store
Autobell Car Wash Inc., the third largest conveyor carwash chain, has opened its 48th location in Union County, NC. Autobell is the largest family-owned conveyor carwash chain.

The new store will fall inline with the company’s water reclamation practices and has installed an Aqua Bio 100 percent reclaim water treatment system.

Chuck Howard, president and CEO of Autobell, said in the press release, “…[W]e were encouraged to investigate 100 percent recycling due to limited sewer availability, and we are going forward with this relatively new car wash technology.”

Autobell treats and filters 100 percent of the wastewater used and recycles 80 percent of the water used.

Mace sells FL carwash; closes on truck wash sale
Mace Security International Inc. has sold a fifth carwash, based in Bradenton, FL, for a total of $1.3 million.

Four other Florida properties were sold to Wash Depot, the country’s largest conveyor carwash chain, in December 2007.

The company did not disclose the buyer of the carwash. The carwash assets totaled about $655,000 which is above the recorded net book value of $645,000.

Mace has 16 carwashes left for sale. One is located in Sarasota, FL, and the rest are located throughout Texas.

Mace also announced the completed $1.2 million sale of its Truck Wash Division.

Mace, which has now completely exited the truck wash business, sold the division to Eagle United Truck Wash, LLC, in a deal that closed on Dec. 31, 2007.

Mace had been in a signed lease-to-sell agreement with Eagle since December 31, 2005. The purchase price of $280,000 was paid in cash and a five-year term $920,000 note is payable to Mace via mortgages on the truck washes.

California carwashes hit market at $92M
White Water Auto Care Center is listing its 12 full-service carwash and convenience-store sites in Southern California on the market for $92.5 million.

“The company is indeed selling its real estate in a sale-leaseback transaction,” Greg Landry, who serves as the investment banker for Whitewater Auto Care Center, said. “But the operating company will remain in the hands of John Aminpour, who has long been the owner and operator and will continue to be the owner and operator of these locations.”

The 12 sites — nine in Bakersfield, two in Ventura and one in San Fernando — include full-service carwashes, convenience stores and gas pumps at all the sites, and quick-lube services at seven of the sites.

The properties are all on 25-year triple-net leases and in locations that historically have attracted high investor demand and aggressive pricing.

The seller is offering the properties to be acquired either individually or as a customized portfolio of three or more centers. Prices for individual stores range from $4.2 million for a 4,650-square-foot store on less than half an acre to $13.7 million for an 8,104-square-foot store on 1.26 acres (2007 net operating income: $943,032).