Crash Champions to Merge with Service King

crash champions on store

Crash Champions announced July 14 it has entered into an agreement to receive a growth investment from Clearlake Capital Group and will simultaneously execute a strategic transaction with Service King Collision.

Crash Champions’ management team and operating partners, alongside Clearlake, will lead the combined company going forward.

Following closing and integration, the company will operate more than 550 total locations across 35 states and Washington, D.C., under the Crash Champions name and banner.

Terms of the transaction, which is subject to customary closing conditions including regulatory clearances, were not disclosed.

Founded in 1999 by Matt Ebert, Crash Champions is a U.S. operator of more than 200 collision repair facilities. Having expanded from a single storefront in Chicago into a present-day network of 20 states, each location is built on the company’s founder and operator-led values, championing customer service and workplace satisfaction.

Since its founding in 1976, Service King has grown into one of the industry’s largest collision repair platforms with more than 330 locations spanning 24 states. Today, Service King offers deep footprint coverage in many of the nation’s fastest growing MSAs, including Atlanta, Austin, Dallas, Houston, Las Vegas, Nashville, Phoenix, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, Seattle and Washington, D.C.

Partnering with Crash Champions will allow Service King to better serve its customers and carrier partners, while driving long-term value for employees, vendors and investors.

“Today is an exciting day for Crash Champions and another major milestone in our growth story,” said 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 organizations.”

As part of the transaction, Clearlake is providing growth capital to Crash Champions. This marks Clearlake’s second investment in the collision repair industry, having recently announced the capital infusion and debt recapitalization of Service King.

Crash Champions’ management team will execute on the company’s go-forward strategy with Clearlake’s support.

“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 José E. Feliciano, co-founder and managing partner, and Colin Leonard, partner of Clearlake. “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 utilizing our O.P.S.® framework to unlock the inherent value of this combination and position the platform for continued strong growth.”

Following the closing of this deal, the combined company’s total workforce will exceed 9,200 team members.

Crash Champions and Service King have highly complementary geographic footprints with limited overlap. During the post-closing integration activities, both Crash Champions and Service King will continue operating at all service centers nationwide without interruption.

“We remain committed to the operator-first mindset that has guided us throughout our history. 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,” said Ebert.

Source: Crash Champions

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