Ford is finalising a deal to sell car servicing business Kwik-Fit to private equity firm CVC Capital Partners for an estimated £300 million, the Financial Times (FT) said.

The FT added that Ford was thought to have agreed to accept deferred payments from CVC of a sizeable amount of the total sale price.

The newspaper said that Ford, which had hoped to raise at least £800 million from the sales, was likely to retain a Kwik-Fit stake to take advantage of any upturn.

The FT said that some sources claim that accounting irregularities discovered at Kwik-Fit last month helped CVC obtain a lower price and better terms for the deal.

The newspaper added that CVC was thought to be the only remaining bidder after private equity rivals Apax and Permira did not make offers.

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It was not yet clear if Sir Tom Farmer, Kwik-Fit’s founder and chairman, would retain his position once the business is sold, the FT said.

See also: “European Fast Fit and Autocenters 2001