US independent collision repair service provider Crash Champions will merge with Service King Collision to create an entity with more than 550 locations across 35 US states and the District of Columbia under the Crash Champions name. Crash Champions’ management team, operating partners, and Clearlake Capital Group will lead the combined company.
Terms of the transaction, which is subject to customary closing conditions including regulatory clearances, were not disclosed.
“Today is an exciting day for Crash Champions and another major milestone in our growth story,” said Matt Ebert, founder and CEO of Crash Champions. “This strategic combination further enhances our ability to serve our customers and insurance partners while creating advancement opportunities for our team members across both organisations.”
Clearlake will provide growth capital to Crash Champions, the deal marking Clearlake’s second investment in the collision repair industry, having recently announced the capital infusion and debt recapitalisation of Service King.
“This investment was driven by our thematic-based approach to investing in the automotive aftermarket and our specific identification of the collision repair sector as an ecosystem at a historical inflection point,” said Jose Feliciano, Clearlake co-founder and Managing Partner, and Colin Leonard, Clearlake Partner. “The proliferation of vehicle technology has put unique demands on the shop operators to invest in OEM certifications, equipment, and most importantly, their personnel to deliver safe and efficient service.
“We are impressed by Matt and the Crash Champions leadership team and admire their commitment to customer service and re-investment in both their operations and talent. It is exciting to partner with them to create this differentiated national platform, and we look forward to utilising our OPS framework to unlock the inherent value of this combination and position the platform for continued strong growth.”
Founded by Ebert in 1999 as a single workshop in Chicago, Crash Champions has grown to more than 200 collision repair facilities in 20 states, while Service King, founded in 1976, operates more than 330 locations spanning 24 states.
Following the closing of the deal, the combined company’s workforce will exceed 9200 members. Crash Champions said it and Service King have highly complementary geographic footprints with limited overlap and will continue operating all service centres without interruption.
“We remain committed to the operator-first mindset that has guided us throughout our history,” Ebert said. “This approach has enabled us to successfully integrate hundreds of shops and thousands of employees into one of the leading employers in the collision repair industry. As we welcome Service King’s customers and skilled team members into our family, we will continue this tradition and earn their trust every day.”