BOSTON (July 10, 2014) — Private equity investors Audax Group Inc. has acquired Wheel Pros L.L.C., the Denver-based distributor of branded aftermarket wheels, performance tires and accessories, from Platinum Equity L.L.C. for an undisclosed price.
Wheel Pros is an aftermarket wheel designer and distributor with a network of 25 distribution centers worldwide, selling through more than 25,000 dealers in 30-plus countries. Among its portfolio of wheel brands are American Racing, KMC Wheels, ATX Wheels, Moto Metal and Motegi Racing, the company states on its website.
“We are excited to continue growing the business organically and by leveraging Audax’s expertise in identifying and integrating add-ons,” said Wheel Pros CEO Randy White.
“Wheel Pros is a market leader in the automotive aftermarket industry. We look forward to partnering with Randy White, Jody Groce and the Wheel Pros team to grow the business organically and through strategic add-on acquisitions,” said Geoffrey Rehnert, co-CEO of Boston-based Audax.
Platinum Equity acquired Wheel Pros in 2008 and then integrated it with American Racing, which Platinum had acquired in 2005.
The integrated business today operates under the Wheel Pros name in the U.S. and as American Racing overseas, Platinum Equity said.
Kirkland & Ellis L.L.P. served as counsel to Audax in the deal; William Blair & Co. advised Wheel Pros.
Audax Group, founded in 1999, is a leading investor in lower-middle market companies.
How have tire prices been in the last few months?
|They've gone up 1-5%||
|They've increased 6-10%||
|They've stayed flat||
|They've gone down between 1 and 5%||
|They've gone down 6-10%||
|They've dropped more than 10%||
In light of the months-long West Coast port slowdowns, how have your fill rates been?
|We've seen no change in fill rates — they're good.||
|Overall, they've gotten worse over the last half-year or so.||
|We've never been satisfied with our fill rates and have given up hope for improvement.||
|They've gotten worse — but only for selected import and/or private brands coming in from Asia.||