Western General Bodyworks Group Seeks Investor To Fund Business Expansion

The Australian Financial Review’s (AFR) Street Talk column says investment advisory firm Kidder Williams is spruiking the sale of private Victorian-based MSI repairer Western General Bodyworks Group (WGBG) to a number of potential purchasers, including private equity funds.

According to Street Talk, the business recently added M Tech Suspension and Motor Glass Windscreen to its business portfolio in the past two financial years and group owner, Danny Buzadzic, has “a bunch of acquisitions in the pipeline”. To fund the expansion, Buzadzic is considering his strategic options, including a full sale of the business.

The report said a five-page sales flyer prepared by Kidder Williams “looks like a direct call to cashed up PE funds looking for places to deploy their dry powder.”

“PE funds have sniffed around Australia’s smash repairs sector in the past – Blackstone even had a deal to acquire AMA Group’s panel repairs arm which fell over – with thoughts about consolidating what’s still a fragmented market,” added Street Talk.

According to the flyer, WGBG has 11 workshops, more than 170 staff and services over 10,000 cars a year. It turned over $33.9 million last financial year at a double-digit EBITDA margin. Revenue is heavily biased towards repairs (91 per cent), with around 60 per cent of its work performed for insurers including IAG, Allianz, Suncorp and Youi.

WGBG started with one workshop in Maribyrnong in 1981 and now has another nine east coast locations:

  • Victoria: WGBG, Sunshine; Northern General Bodyworks, Bundoora; Werribee Accident Repair Centre, Werribee; Gordon Ave Accident Repair Centre, Geelong West; Newtown Bodyworks, Geelong; Geelong Collision Centre, Geelong
  • New South Wales: Belmont Smash Repairs, Belmont
  • Queensland: Miami Smash Repairs, Miami and Maxbutts Auto Bodyworks, Ashmore, both in the Gold Coast