Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Carousel Capital buys chain of oil change shops

Charlotte-based private investment firm Carousel Capital said today that it has partnered with the management team of Express Oil Change & Service Center to buy the chain of about 200 shops in the Southeast -- and announced plans to expand.

This is actually the second time Carousel has bought the company. Carousel first partnered with management  in a controlling stake in 2005, and sold the company in 2010 to Thompson Street Capital Partners. In the interim, the company's core earnings doubled, Carousel managing partner Bill Hobbs said.

Express is the largest in what is known as "automotive after-market services" in the region, Hobbs said. The strategy now is to open new locations and to buy up smaller competitors.

It's the latest in a number of companies in the automotive arena that Carousel works with. The firm also has had investments in Meineke Car Care Center and Driven Brands.