Professional Carwashing & Detailing

News from the industry

October 11, 2010

Mace offered $46M for whole company
Mace Security International, Inc., the carwash operator and security-products maker, has received an offer from a company interested in buying it for about $45.9 million.

Mace said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that it got a letter from Kelly Capital that expressed Kelly’s interest in opening discussions with Mace to purchase the company for $3 per share.

Mace has about 15.3 million shares outstanding, the article said, and its shares were trading up 10 percent Tuesday at $2.77.

Mace has been trying to sell its 45 carwashes for the last two years.

Last month, the company signed an agreement to sell its 12 Arizona carwashes for the second time.

Kelly Capital is a San Diego real estate firm established by brothers Michael and Richard Kelly, who are respectively its chairman and CEO, and president.

P&G pitches for 2nd carwash
Procter & Gamble company officials have pitched their proposal for a second carwash test site to the Evendale Village Council.

The Mr. Clean Performance Car Wash, to be part of the company’s research for a national carwash chain, is planned for the new Evendale Commons Business Park, where a Wal-Mart is scheduled to open in April.

However, the village would have to change the uses it planned for the business park because a carwash is not among them.

PCC Online first reported that P&G intended to start a national carwash chain in October. Several weeks later, P&G moved ahead with plans to build its first test site in Deerfield Township, OH.

Construction has already begun at that location. It is scheduled to open this spring.

Autobell moves into new state, adds three washes
Autobell Car Wash Inc., the second largest conveyorized carwash chain in the nation, is poised to grow even bigger in the next few months with the addition of three more washes, one of which will be located in South Carolina — a first for Autobell.

Chuck Howard, president, CEO and owner of the Charlotte, NC-based chain, said the expansion into South Carolina was a matter of growing the company’s neighboring Charlotte, NC-market. Currently, the company’s 44 locations are in Virginia and North Carolina.

The South Carolina wash, now under construction, is located in Lancaster County, where there is “a tremendous amount of growth,” Howard said. It will be the company’s 47th location, with two more washes scheduled to open a few weeks before.

Of course, with the new market comes new complications — Howard said the company will have to learn the state’s tax and employment laws.

The company opened its 45th and 46th locations earlier this spring. One is an acquisition of a carwash in Chesapeake, VA. The other, a new construction, is located in the company’s Raleigh-market.

“It’s really tough to say [how many washes we’ll add in 2007], we’re looking for opportunities wherever they exist,” Howard told PC&D. “We’re not under any constraints to do a certain number of locations. We like growth, we think its good for our company, it’s good for our people.

Howard said the company could handle opening ten new locations, but finding and permitting sites is a long and sometimes unpredictable process.

All of the new additions will be full-service with on-line vacuuming, the same model Autobell uses at its other locations, Howard said.

“It keeps us busy,” he added.

WashTec AG buys Spanish distributor
WashTec AG, a global supplier of carwash systems and parent company of Mark VII, has purchased its exclusive distributor in Spain for around $11 million.

Motor Mediteraneo S. A., headquartered in Barcelona with a branch office in Madrid, has been the exclusive authorized dealer of the WashTec Group in Spain since 1964.

The owner-managed company distributes, installs and maintains carwash systems with more than 30 employees. In the past few years, Motor Mediteraneo has generated sales of about $9 million and achieved sustainable positive net profits.

Investor group buys European carwash company
Sentica Partners has acquired the entire share capital of Tammermatic Oy, a global supplier of vehicle wash systems based in Europe.

The investment group aims to double its revenues within the next few years, especially in the potential market of Russia. In 2006, the revenues of Tammermatic amounted to almost $20 million.

In addition to manufacturing carwash systems, Tammermatic has also developed water recycling systems, environmentally-friendly carwash chemicals and service concepts that support its customers’ washing operations.

Sentice Partners also hopes to grow the company by investing considerably in after-sales operation as well as in washing equipment and solutions for heavy transport vehicles.

Tammermatic, based in Tampere, Finland and servicing nationwide networks in both Finland and Sweden, employs some 100 people, and also has a global sales network.

Sentica Partners Ltd is a Finnish private equity company with nearly $170M funds under their management.