The Kmart service set to disappear

Wesfarmers is set to sell its Kmart Tyre and Auto Service business to German auto giant Continental AG for $350 million.

With 258 stores, Kmart Tyre and Auto Service is one of the country’s largest auto service businesses. It is the single largest employer of apprentice motor mechanics in Australia, with more than 1200 employees currently.

Wesfarmers has owned the chain since it acquired the Coles Group in 2007.

“We believe that the divestment is in the best interests of Wesfarmers’ shareholders, while giving the employees and customers of KTAS the opportunity to join a highly complementary business in Continental,” Wesfarmers managing director Rob Scott said in a statement on Monday.

Continental employs more than 243,000 people in 60 countries and has annual sales of $69 billion.

“Continental’s automotive industry expertise will further strengthen the business’ customer offering,” Mr Scott said.

“I thank all of the KTAS team for their outstanding efforts in growing and improving the business under Wesfarmers’ ownership and, in advance, for their continued focus and commitment during the transition to new ownership.”

The transaction, subject to approvals by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and the Foreign Investment Review Board, is expected to complete in the first quarter of the 2019 financial year.

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