GREENWOOD VILLAGE, Colo. — Custom wheel distributors Wheel Pros and MHT Luxury Wheels Inc. have merged their activities into a new company that is operating under the Wheel Pros name and headquartered in Greenwood Village.
The combined company — which the new partners claim is the largest "automotive aftermarket wheel platform" in the world — controls 22 complementary wheel brands in approximately 1,400 styles and 15,000 SKUs.
Founded in the 1990s by Art Hale Jr., Rancho Dominguez, Calif.-based MHT became a prominent player in the aftermarket wheel industry due to its "cutting- edge" designs, led by the Fuel Off-Road brand, Wheel Pros said. MHT offers brands for the off-road light truck, street, tuner/racing, luxury and powersports vehicle markets.
As part of the transaction, MHT shareholders have invested in the combined company, and Mr. Hale continues to be involved in product design and operations, and is a member of the board of directors of the combined company, Wheel Pros said.
Jody Groce and Randy White, co-founders of Wheel Pros, will continue to be co-CEOs of the combined company.
Financial details of the deal, which closed in May, were not disclosed. The deal creates an entity with more than 1,000 employees and annual sales of about 3 million wheels.
Besides the Fuel brand, the transaction brings together brands such as KMC, American Racing, Rotiform and others under one organization.
The combined company intends to leverage its "expansive" distribution network to provide best-in-class service to its customers with next-day shipping to a majority of the U.S. The company operates 32 U.S. distribution centers in 21 states coast to coast, as well as two in Canada — in British Columbia and Ontario.
MHT continues to operate its manufacturing and finishing operations in Rancho Dominguez. Wheel Pros has manufacturing in Florida and South Carolina as well.
"MHT is a well-established player in the aftermarket wheel industry and we are excited to team up with Art and the extremely talented MHT team, including its designers, warehouse managers, and sales organization," Messrs. Groce and White said.
"Our customers will benefit from both the combined company's new, expansive portfolio and its best-in-class distribution network. We have known MHT for decades, and we look forward to working closely together as we undertake new initiatives and invest to accelerate the growth of the combined business with the backing and support of Clearlake."
Mr. Hale noted that both Wheel Pros and MHT offer "some of the most recognizable brands and designs in the world," and described Wheel Pros and Clearlake Capital the "right partners to continue driving the values and success we have at MHT …"
Founded in 1995, Wheel Pros also distributes performance tires and accessories. Among its portfolio of wheel brands are American Racing, Asanti, KMC Wheels, ATX, Fairway Alloys, Moto Metal, Motegi Racing, MSA, OECreations and RockStar, the company states on its website.
Last year Wheel Pros added the Gorilla-brand automotive aftermarket lug nut and wheel lock and ReadyLIFT Suspension Inc., a designer and distributor of suspension, lift and leveling kits, to its portfolio.