Cardis Corp., mired in financial problems after three years of rapid expansion, said Monday that it has agreed to sell the Tuneup Master auto-repair chain it purchased last year.
Cardis, one of the nation's largest distributors of auto parts, said it will receive $78.2 million in cash for Tuneup Master, with 350 shops from California to Louisiana.
In addition, the buyers, identified only as a group of private investors, will assume $4 million in debt still owed to the previous owners. Until Cardis bought it, Tuneup Master was still 85% owned by its founder, former race car driver Andy Granatelli.
Cardis said it expects to show a profit of about $33 million on the deal. It said it will use the money to reduce its corporate debt and provide working capital. That profit will be sheltered by the company's tax-loss carryforwards, Cardis said.