RALEIGH, N.C. — Advance Auto Parts Inc. has acquired the rights to the DieHard brand covering DieHard-brand car batteries and the ability to develop the DieHard brand into other automotive and vehicular categories.
The deal with Transform Holdco L.L.C. — the holding formed in in late 2018 by former Sears Holdings CEO Edward Lampert and his hedge fund to acquire a bundle of Sears assets in the wake of Sears' bankruptcy filing — is valued at $200 million and includes a provision granting Transformco an exclusive royalty-free, perpetual license to develop, market and sell DieHard-branded products in non-automotive categories.
Calling DieHard an "iconic American brand," Advance Auto Parts President and CEO Tom Greco said, "DieHard will help differentiate Advance, drive increased DIY customer traffic and build a unique value proposition for our professional customers and independent Carquest partners.
"DieHard has the highest brand awareness and regard of any automotive battery brand in North America and will enable Advance to build a leadership position within the critical battery category," he said.
"DieHard stands for durability and reliability and we will strengthen and leverage the brand in other battery categories, such as marine and recreational vehicles. We also see opportunities to extend DieHard in other automotive categories," he said without elaborating.
"We remain committed to providing our customers with high-quality products and excellent service. The addition of DieHard to our industry leading assortment of national brands, OE parts and owned brands will enable us to differentiate Advance and drive significant long-term shareholder value."
Peter Boutros, president of Transformco's Kenmore, Craftsman and DieHard business unit, said , "DieHard is among the most successful and one of the most widely trusted brands in the auto industry, and we have long believed that the brand has even more potential.
"Advance Auto Parts' acquisition of this iconic American brand will complement our plans to introduce new DieHard products in non-automotive categories such as sporting goods, lawn and garden, authentic work wear and other exciting new categories."
Sears launched the DieHard brand in 1967 with the introduction of the DieHard car battery line, which featured a thin-walled, translucent plastic case 50% thinner than conventional black, rubber-type battery enclosures.
Sears added a DieHard-brand tire line in 2016 with the launch of the DieHard Silver Touring A/S in partnership with Kumho Tire Co. Inc. and opened a handful of DieHard-branded retail tire and auto service centers in 2017.
Transformco did not comment on the status of these assets.