Ford today announced its “intent to sign an agreement” to sell Kwik-Fit, the company’s European maintenance and light repair business, and that it has completed the sale of Collision Team of America (CTA), a US-based chain of collision repair shops.

Upon sale of these two entities and with previously announced divestitures, the company is on track to meet its revitalisation plan goal to raise $US1 billion in cash this year from the sale of non-core operations.

CVC Capital Partners, a leading European private equity group, intends to sign an agreement to purchase Kwik-Fit for £330 million (about $US500 million) in cash and a note that will be paid as CVC obtains outside financing.

The proposed transaction will be completed using a new company formed for the purpose, and financed by funds under the management of CVC.

Ford will retain a 19% equity interest in the new company in order to benefit from the business’s future growth.

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The sale is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2002 and is subject to regulatory approvals.

Ford will record a one-time, after-tax charge of approximately $500 million in the third quarter of 2002 related to the sale of Kwik-Fit.

Daniel Hall, a private businessman, has agreed to purchase 100% of the stock and assets of CTA and will operate the business along with his spouse, Rhonda Hall.

The sale of CTA was completed on July 31, 2002.

Ford has decided not to pursue the sale of Hertz Equipment Rental Corporation.

“U.S. capital spending is not recovering as quickly as anticipated, thereby delaying the recovery we expected in the equipment rental industry,” a spokesman said.

“As a result of these sector-specific factors, we have chosen not to pursue the sale of HERC until valuations become more favourable.”

Kwik-Fit, Europe’s largest maintenance and light repair operation, was purchased by Ford in 1999 and has 2,500 service centres and more than 11,000 employees.

CTA operates 32 collision shops in four states (conducting business under various names) and has about 850 employees.

Ford purchased a minority stake in CTA in 1998 and acquired the remaining shares in 2001.