CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Driven Brands Inc. has announced the acquisition of St. Charles, Ill., based Merlin 200,000 Miles, an automotive aftermarket franchise business. Merlin operates primarily in the suburbs of Chicago and adds 49 locations in four states to the Driven Brands portfolio. According to the company, this acquisition will allow Driven to expand its presence in an important market.
“At Driven, we are committed to growing our presence through acquisitions of other brands or independents which can accelerate our exposure and growth,” said Jonathan Fitzpatrick, president and CEO, Driven Brands. “Merlin has a compelling business model and outstanding unit economics. We are excited about this addition to The Driven family and are confident this acquisition will result in a win-win for both customers and our brands alike.”
“It was time for the full potential behind our 200,000 Miles branding to be unleashed, which only a successful national player could do. We were extremely impressed with the high levels of talent, vision and energy within the Driven Brands executive leadership team. Driven Brands truly understands franchising as well as Merlin’s ongoing commitment to both franchisees and customer,” said Frank Smola, former president of Merlin 200,000 Miles.
Danny Rivera will serve as the resident of Merlin 200,000 Miles. As chief information officer of Driven Brands, Rivera is uniquely qualified to lead this effort. By immersing himself in the Merlin brand, Rivera expects his knowledge of day-to-day operations and business leadership will enable him to guide the brand to continued success.
“Adding Merlin to the Driven portfolio gives us breadth in the Chicago market with a great brand that has unique brand positioning and excellent unit economics,” added Rivera. “I am looking forward to working with our franchisees to capitalize on the great brand positioning and product platforms that Merlin has built its reputation on.”