JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Icahn Automotive Group L.L.C. is buying RPM Automotive Inc., a Jacksonville-based auto repair chain with 10 outlets throughout northeastern Florida.
The deal is subject to customary closing conditions but is expected to close by year-end, Icahn said. Terms were not disclosed.
The business traces its roots to the 1980s when President and CEO Colley Stowell opened his first independent Exxon-branded service station in Jacksonville.
Throughout the 1980s and '90s, Gary Ledford, Gus Shage, John Morin and Bobby Thomas came aboard and the partners started looking at stand-alone auto repair shops operating under a "Car Care with Integrity" banner.
The first RPM Automotive location opened in 2001, and the business has grown to 10 outlets since. Seven of the outlets are in Jacksonville proper; the others are in Fleming Island, Jacksonville Beach and St. Johns.
"The acquisition of RPM Automotive complements Icahn Automotive's existing footprint in the region and will accelerate our growth in an important market for us," said Icahn Automotive CEO Dan Ninivaggi. He also noted RPM's "remarkable" growth over the past two decades as a "testament to the quality of its team members and service model."
Southfield, Mich.-based Icahn Automotive did not say whether it will retain the RPM Automotive name or convert the stores to one of its existing auto repair and maintenance brands: Pep Boys, AAMCO or Precision Tune Auto Care.
Icahn has eight Pep Boys outlets in Jacksonville.
Icahn Automotive President Brian Kaner noted that acquisitions such as this help increase the "breadth and density" of the firm's service center coverage.
"We're well positioned to capitalize on the growing demand for automotive service by individuals and fleets as vehicles become more technologically complex and the vehicle population grows," he said.
Icahn Enterprises L.P.'s automotive segment — comprising Pep Boys, IEH Auto Parts Holding and franchise businesses — trimmed its operating loss in the quarter ended Sept. 30 to $13 million on 4.7-percent higher sales of $733 million, according to the company's third quarter 10-Q filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.