Uni-Select Inc. has entered into an agreement to purchase the assets of Beck/Arnley Worldparts Corp and its Canadian subsidiary Beck/Arnley Worldparts Canada ULC, both automotive replacement parts distributors specializing in parts for foreign nameplate vehicles. Beck/Arnley operates one master distribution center at its headquarters in Smyrna, Tennessee and maintains relationships with two other satellite warehouses allowing it to service the whole of the North American market. The sale is expected to be completed on June 1st, 2008, subject to closing conditions. The companies did not report the purchase price, but the acquisition was expected to add approximately C$29 million to Uni-Select revenues. The acquisition by Uni-Select follows a pattern by traditional automotive aftermarket distributors to imporove their service to the growing import nameplate marktplace. Previously General Parts, parent of Carquest Canada, purchased WorldPac and earlier this year, Genuine Parts Inc., parent of NAPA Canada, purchased Altrom. Both are focused on providing replacement parts for import nameplate vehicles. For Uni-Select, the Beck/Arnley business will be the cornerstone of a strategic initiative to improve parts coverage in order to better service the growing import nameplate component of the North American fleet of vehicles and will be the start of a new Foreign Nameplate Division at Uni-Select Inc. “Beck/Arnley’s high quality product offering, its strong brand image at the jobber and installer levels, its catalogue and its capabilities in the areas of product sourcing and logistics provides us with a great opportunity to support and improve the capabilities of the company. We intend to grow the business by expanding its geographical reach and its product offering. In addition, we will deliver the quality product the customer wants, where and when he wants it and at a competitive price” offered Richard G. Roy, president and chief executive officer of Uni-Select Inc. “These developments are exciting news for our customers and employees. Uni-Select’s support will allow us to more effectively develop and rebuild our capabilities to better serve our customers by delivering the quality products we have been working so hard to provide. In Uni-Select, we have found the right partner as their vision, culture, values and business model, including support of the independent Jobber, coincide so closely with ours” commented Max Dull, president of Beck/Arnley. On Thursday, Uni-Select Inc. reported a 4% rise in first-quarter profit on Thursday, as recent acquisitions boosted sales, although this was partly offset by the effects of the strong Canadian dollar. Uni-Select, which distributes replacement auto parts, equipment and tools, said it had net earnings of C$6.1 million ($6 million), or 31 Canadian cents a share, compared with C$5.8 million, or 30 Canadian cents a share, in the same quarter a year ago. Sales at the Boucherville, Quebec-based company were up 3.1 percent at C$281.7 million from C$273.2 million. Uni-Select said sales at its Automotive Group USA unit grew 0.9 percent to C$149.9 million, with acquisitions contributing C$26.2 million. Sales at its Automotive Group Canada unit rose 7.2 percent to C$118.8 million, while sales at the Heavy Duty Group fell 5.7 percent to C$13 million.