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IMO Car Wash latest private equity-backed sale scrapped amid market turmoil

30 Jul 2012

Plans to sell IMO Car Wash to buyout house TDR Capital have fallen through over a failure to agree on price.

The company will now seek to refinance $185m of loans after the latest abandoned exit in the private equity space, according to a report in the UK’s Telegraph newspaper.

Earlier this month UK private equity firm Exponent pulled its plan to sell ticketing website thetrainline.com after failing to attract its £400m asking price, while Permira scrapped the refinancing of frozen food producer Birds Eye Iglo days after rejecting a €2.5bn offer from Blackstone and BC Partners.

The report said the IMO deal broke down after TDR’s offer was rejected, which followed an auction process led by Rothschild.

IMO, which claims to wash 34m a year across 900 worldwide locations, grew earning to £38m for the year ending March 2012.

The company, which was previously owned by Carlyle, fell under the control of a banking syndicate in 2009 after breaching its financial covenants and defaulting on interest payment obligations.

The UK’s High Court sanctioned a contentious restructuring scheme whereby IMO was sold on to a new company, with its senior lenders becoming both shareholders and lenders.

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