Private equity firm Hellman & Friedman LLC is set to buy collision-repair chain Abra Auto Body & Glass.
The transaction marks an exit for New York financial sponsor Palladium Equity Partners LLC, which first acquired Abra in 2011. Palladium had launched an auction process for the Brooklyn Park, Minnesota-based target.
Hellman & Friedman, headquartered in San Francisco, won the auction for a reported price tag of $500 million.
Founded in 1984, Abra operates 234 repair shops in 19 states. In July, the company said it had acquired four new repair shops in St. Louis and Seattle. Abra has more than doubled its locations since Palladium first invested in the company.
The purchase is the latest move by a private equity firm in the industry's continuing roll-up of auto-body-repair centers, as well automotive aftermarket parts suppliers.
The Blackstone Group LP (NYSE:BX) announced in late July that it would take over Dallas-based Service King Paint & Body LLC as part of a recapitalization deal.
Service King, one of the largest independent automobile body repair center chains in the U.S., had been under the ownership The Carlyle Group LP (Nasdaq: CG) and grew from 47 locations in Texas to 177 locations across 20 states.
For more on the car parts sector, see "Winners of the Auto Aftermarket."