Private equity firm Blackstone has bought Alliance Automotive Group, which distributes automotive service parts in France and the UK, from Weinberg Capital Partners.

Alliance Automotive operates under the brands GroupAuto France, GroupAuto UK, Partners, Gef’Auto and Précisium. In all it has a total of 1,410 outlets employing 3,500 workers. Group sales reached €1.2 billion ($1.6 billion) in 2013.

“We are delighted to team up with the management team led by Jean-Jacques Lafont and Alistair Brown to acquire Alliance Automotive Group,” said Lionel Assant, head of European Private Equity at Blackstone. “The company has market-leading positions and an outstanding management team. We look forward to working with them as the company confirms its position as a leading operator in the European market both through organic and acquisition led growth.”

Alliance Automotive Group has made 30 of its own acquisitions supported by Weinberg Capital Partners, including Précisium Group and TPA in France.

During Weinberg Capital Partners’ ownership, turnover has doubled as the Group has become the number one operator in France and a leading player in the UK,” said Weinberg’s Philippe Klocanas. “We very much look forward to the next phase of development with Blackstone, a leading global investor. Their worldwide presence will back the management team to pursue its growth strategy.”

Blackstone is also a majority stakeholder in automotive systems supplier TRW Automotive.