Davenport-Based Midas Operator Sold

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Colorado-based Leeds West Groups announced Tuesday it will acquire Auto Systems Experts, headquartered in Davenport, in what will be the largest acquisition in Midas history.

The employee-owned Auto Systems Experts operates 42 Midas locations in six states in the Midwest. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Leeds West Groups, based in Greenwood Village, Colorado, is a capital group that acquires, owns and manages Midas, Big O Tires and SpeeDee Oil Change & Auto Service locations in nine states. Before the acquisition, Leeds West Groups operates in more than 20 percent of the United States with 55 franchise locations in Colorado, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Connecticut.

The planned acquisition includes all of Auto Systems Experts locations, real estate holdings, buildings and equipment. Alan Mahrt, the former president of Auto Systems Experts, will serve as chief operating officer of the new division of Leeds West Groups.

"This acquisition represents a powerful opportunity for Leeds West Groups to significantly expand our presence in the United States in the franchise aftermarket automotive repair industry," said Judd Kyle Shader, Leeds West Groups' CEO, founder, and board member.

The acquisition will boost Leeds West Groups' holdings to 97 locations across 15 states and 850 employees making it the largest Midas, Big O Tires, and SpeeDee Oil Change & Auto Service automotive group in the nation.

Founded in 1957, Auto Systems Experts, Inc. is one of the oldest Midas franchisees in the country. Prior to the acquisition, it was 100 percent employee-owned under an employee stock option plan.

"We have worked closely with LWG in a strategic partnership over the last two years to make this acquisition a natural fit that will grow Auto Systems Experts for many years to come in resources and new locations, making this a seamless benefit for all," Mahrt said.

In 2013, Leeds West Groups acquired 30 Midas corporate stores in nine states. At the time of the transaction, it was the largest single Midas store purchase by a franchisee in the company’s history.

This story, by Jennifer DeWitt, first appeared on qctimes.com

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