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Cottman and AAMCO Transmissions Merge, AAMCO Sold to Buyout Firm
March 9, 2006
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HORSHAM, PA -- It was announced yesterday that Cottman Transmission is reuniting with AAMCO Transmissions, forming one of the country's largest complete car care companies, with more than 1,100 locations throughout the U.S. The combined company will eventually operate as AAMCO Transmissions. Cottman Transmission centers are expected to transition to the AAMCO name.

AAMCO expects to add 50 to 70 new centers a year throughout the country in strategic markets. Currently, the company's top five markets are New York, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C. and Atlanta.

The merger reunites two companies that started as one in the late 1950s when Rich Silva and Anthony A. Martino operated transmission centers in Philadelphia. In 1962, the men divided their stores with Silva's center becoming the first Cottman because of its location on Cottman Avenue and Martino naming his store AAMCO to reflect his initials. Martino partnered with franchising expert Robert Morgan to build AAMCO into a national franchise, with Martino selling his interest in the company and leaving in 1967. The late Robert Morgan, and then his son Keith, who became CEO in 1992, built AAMCO into one of the best-known brands in the automotive aftermarket. Keith Morgan is retiring from the company with the merger.

In a separate statement released yesterday, it was announced that AAMCO has been sold to American Capital Strategies. American Capital invests in and sponsors management and employee buyouts, invests in private equity buyouts, provides capital directly to early stage and mature private and small public companies, and through its asset management business, is a manager of debt and equity investments in private companies and commercial loan obligations.

AAMCO will be headquartered in Horsham, PA, and will have more than 6,000 employees nationwide. The company will have system-wide sales of more than $600 million. AAMCO's management team will include executives from both organizations.

AAMCO President Mark Wurth will serve as a senior advisor to the company during a transition period. AAMCO's Brian O'Donnell, a 20-year veteran with the company, will continue his role as senior vice president of operations.

Cottman centers are expected to convert to doing business under the AAMCO name over the next three years, said Todd Leff, who will serve as president and chief executive officer of the new AAMCO. Leff has served as president of Cottman since 1998. The conversion to AAMCO will enable the company to leverage a well-known national name as it accelerates a push into the broader based $200 billion U.S. automotive repair aftermarket. Leff said AAMCO will work to become the dominant brand in the automotive repair segment.

For more information, visit: www.aamco.com.

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