The SAPE Group has acquired Auto Paint Supplies Canberra, with the business to operate under the name of SAPE Canberra.
The acquisition by SAPE follows the announcement that Auto Paint Supplies founders, Pat Blake and Glen Allardyce, will retire after 34 years in business. The pair started their company in 1987, supplying a range of body finishing materials, crash repair equipment and tools to body shops throughout Canberra.
“We knew it was time to enjoy a more relaxed side of life and so we began the task of searching for a potential buyer,” said Allardyce. “Our very first call was to Ray McMartin, CEO of SAPE, who was immediately interested in the idea of purchasing the business.”
Blake said he and Allardyce wanted the process to be transparent, timely and fair.
“We knew Ray was active in the market and had purchased a number of distribution businesses when it was time for the owners to retire. Everyone we talked to agreed Ray was a man of integrity, and that the sales had gone through per the agreed conditions and terms,” said Blake.
SAPE said the negotiation was “simple and effective”, with an agreement reached in less than five minutes. The trio sat down with a piece of paper and a pen, and after a few minutes of deliberation, agreed to the total purchase price for the acquisition.
“We’re proud of this achievement, but we’re also aware that there is much more work to be done,” said McMartin. “The nation’s capital presents a great opportunity for SAPE to network, share our knowledge and to provide customers with exceptional service across all channels including supply, support, and service. We’re all looking forward to the good things that are coming.”
The Canberra acquisition follows SAPE’s recent expansion of its operations in Queensland and opening of a new facility in Cameron Park, Newcastle.
SAPE has also invested heavily in infrastructure to facilitate best practice training and development. The company says the SAPE Automotive Training Academy, located at Condell Park in NSW, is the most modern facility of its type and is equipped with latest collision repair equipment, audio visual display, video conferencing and training streaming equipment. The training academy provides a simulated learning environment that allows course participants to perform work tasks in an air-conditioned, controlled and safe indoor environment.
“These centres are utilised by the OEMs and the equipment is updated every two years, guaranteeing we have the latest equipment in these centres to facilitate training in the latest repair processes,” said McMartin.
“To give you some ideas of the training required by some of the late model vehicles, body shells are taken straight off the production line, flown to our training academy, and training commences on how to repair these vehicles prior to the vehicle’s release in Australia,” he added.
SAPE began operations in 1976 and has forged strong relationships with leading suppliers such as Celette, GYS, Spanesi, Wielander+Schill, IRT, Innovative, and Carsystem, as well as CAM, DeVilbiss, Anest Iwata and 3M.