Honest-1 Auto Care Franchise Drives in New Ownership

Franchisees of Innovative Auto Repair Company to Benefit from Internal Restructure

October 26, 2011 // Franchising.com // SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – Honest-1 Auto Care, the only national full-service auto repair and maintenance franchise that is 100 percent ESA® Certified Eco-Friendly, announced today a strategic ownership change within the company designed to further increase support for its growing franchise system.

As a result of the change, President and CEO Jack Keilt assumed the majority interest in Honest-1 Auto Care, with COO Rissy Sutherland and new investors rounding out the ownership. Keilt and Sutherland will take over the ownership shares previously held by Gary and Lisa Messer, former chairman and secretary of Honest-1.

“This new shift in ownership will lead to increased efficiencies that will have a positive effect on the entire company,” Keilt said. “With new ownership and more responsive and direct communication with the home office, we will provide additional support for the entire franchise system and our valued vendors and suppliers.”

Financed by New York based private equity fund, SLC Capital Partners, LP (SLC), the ownership transaction brings along new partners. Among these partners are numerous active and retired operating executives, including investor Mike Cowan, a founding partner of SLC. Joining the Honest-1 Board of Directors will be SLC founding partner, Sam Shimer and Jack Lapointe, Chairman of the Board for a commercial cleaning franchisor. Together, Shimer and Lapointe will bring experience and knowledge that will set the Honest-1 brand up for strong future growth and unprecedented success.

“We are excited about this transition and believe it will position Honest-1 Auto Care for continuous expansion,” Keilt added. “In order to support this growth, we are adding regional developers and additional team members to the system to contribute to the growth of the brand.”

Honest-1 Auto Care is a family and female-friendly center, with clean and upscale waiting areas, Internet cafes allowing customers to work while their cars are serviced, children’s play areas so parents can relax, comfortable chairs and couches, HDTV and complimentary custom coffee stations. While offering exceptional service programs for customers to choose from, Honest-1 Auto Care also offers specialized, eco-auto care programs for those who want to play a greater part in helping the environment. An example is the ECO TuneUp® with Eco-360 fuel treatment. Through a partnership with Green Earth Technologies, Honest-1 also sells G-OIL Ultimate Biodegradable motor oil, made completely of renewable animal fats.

About Honest-1 Auto Care®

Honest-1 Auto Care® is the only national full-service auto care company that is 100% ESA® Certified Eco-Friendly. Honest-1® leads the industry in numerous eco-friendly initiatives including strict recycling of automotive materials, pollution prevention, resource conservation and offering Eco-Friendly Auto Care® services such as the ECO TuneUp® and ECO Oil Change. In addition to its high environmental standards, Honest-1® has a very unique customer centric approach to the auto care industry providing centers which are family-friendly, characterized by clean and upscale waiting areas, Internet cafes, children's play areas, comfortable leather chairs and couches, big screen TVs and complimentary beverage stations. With 24 locations operating, Honest-1® plans to open 10 more locations nationwide in the next year. Honest-1® was ranked 338 in Entrepreneur magazine’s 2011 “Franchise 500.” Additionally, Honest-1® ranked as one of the top companies in the Lube and Oil News 2011 “Top Oil Change-Plus Chains.” To further show its commitment to the environment, Honest-1 Auto Care has partnered with American Forests, the leading nonprofit organization that plants trees for environmental restoration. Honest-1 Auto Care locations nationwide funded the planting of 60,000 new trees this year through the charitable donation of revenues collected from repair orders, at no additional cost to customers. In 2009, the first year of the partnership, Honest-1 Auto Care planted 40,000 trees and since then Honest-1 has added an additional 60,000 trees for a total of 100,000 trees planted in two years!

For more information, visit www.honest-1.com.

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