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Harvest Partners Buys Driven Brands

Harvest Partners, a New York-based private equity firm, has acquired Driven Brands, in partnership with management, from Carousel Capital. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Driven’s management team, including Chairman and CEO Ken Walker, will continue to lead the company.

Based in Charlotte, Driven is an automotive service franchisor. Driven’s flagship service brands are Meineke and Maaco. It also has a handful of other brands, including Econo-Lube, Aero Colours, AutoQual and Drive N Style. Driven’s nearly 1,500 locations are primarily franchised and generate almost $900 million in annual system-wide sales, providing service to more than 3 million cars annually.

“Driven is in a great position to continue its growth both organically and through further consolidation of the automotive aftermarket industry,” said Ira Kleinman, senior managing director at Harvest Partners. “We are looking forward to partnering with Ken and his team to provide additional financial and strategic resources to continue to build on Driven’s success.”

Harvest is no stranger to the aftermarket. Among its current holdings is TruckPro Inc., which it acquired in late 2011.

Senior debt was provided by the senior secured loan program, which is jointly managed by an affiliate of GE Capital and Ares Capital Corp. In addition, GE Antares Capital provided a revolving credit facility. DLJ Investment Partners provided mezzanine debt financing. Ira Kleinman, Jay Wilkins (managing director) and Paige Daly of Harvest will be joining Driven’s board of directors.