Friday, 21 January 2022 09:13

2021 a Busy Year of Collision Repair Acquisitions

Written by David Roberts and Chris Lane, Focus Advisors Automotive
Click to enlarge. There were more than 327 locations acquired by MSOs in 2021. Click to enlarge. There were more than 327 locations acquired by MSOs in 2021.


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With 2021 now in the rearview mirror, the collision repair industry is catching its breath after a year of sprinting that saw extraordinary acquisition activity.

In one of the busiest years since 2019, the most mature consolidators---Caliber and Gerber---have gotten much bigger, while the third largest, Service King, has continued to shrink modestly.


And the adolescents of 2020, Classic Collision and Crash Champions, have dramatically grown into impressive, fully realized competitors seeking their own national footprint, each more than tripling their number of shops over the last 12 months.


Newer private equity backed MSOs also found fertile ground in 2021 with Quality Collision, Kaizen Collision and Collision Right more than doubling their shop counts during the year.


The franchisors and networks continued to find both growth challenges and opportunities as Driven Brands, Certified Collision Group and 1Collision continued to expand in every direction.


Based on Focus Advisors’ proprietary data, a total of 62 MSOs were acquired in 2021 with a transfer of 327 locations that formerly belonged to independent MSOs.


What happened with the largest consolidators? Caliber just kept doing what Caliber does at the same relentless and effectively measured pace---buying, converting and developing. We estimate Caliber added about 201 shops; nearly 25% were brown and greenfield location.


In addition, it continued to grow its initiatives in ADAS, glass and retail service locations. Caliber only acquired one large MSO during the year, Main Auto Body in Oregon, as well as several three and four shop MSOs. However, its most notable acquisition was the acquisition of 17 AutoNation shops in 15 different markets.


Caliber continues to densify its footprint, market-by-market, both through acquisitions of single shops and opening new shops. Responding to the constant demands of its insurance “partners” for...

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