Providing capital for growth
IMO Car Wash Group
After tracking the business for over 5 years, we acquired IMO Car Wash Group, the world's largest independent conveyor car wash operator, in July 2014.
Founded in Germany in 1965, IMO Car Wash Group (“IMO”) has grown to become the world’s largest independent conveyor car wash operator. It has over 830 sites spanning 13 countries, with over 320 sites in Germany and 280 sites in the UK, and the remainder spread across Europe and Australia. The company has approximately 250 employees and is headquartered in the UK.
Caring for the environment is high on the agenda for IMO, and accordingly it meets or surpasses all country specific regulation. By recycling at least 75% of its water, using only chemicals that are biodegradable and removing all harmful deposits from wastewater before disposing of them through environmentally approved contractors, IMO is the most environmentally friendly way to clean your car.
We began following IMO in 2008. During the intervening years we spent a significant amount of time monitoring the business, understanding the wider market and developing our investment thesis.
As a result of our relationship with management, our insight into the business and our experience owning multi-site, consumer-facing businesses, we were able to position ourselves as a credible buyer that could deliver a quick transaction for the vendors. This enabled us to avoid a competitive process and we negotiated the deal on a bilateral basis, completing the acquisition in July 2014.
Date of investment: July 2014
Deal type: Private sale