GREENWICH, Conn. — L Catterton Partners, a consumer-focused private-equity firm with global holdings, has agreed to make a "significant investment" in CantuStore, a leading omnichannel aftermarket tire retailer and distributor in Brazil and parent of U.S. truck tire distributor Digitire.
Itajaí, Brazil-based CantuStore is a holding company that controls CantuPneus, considered the largest Brazilian tire importer and distributor, and PneuStore, the largest tire e-commerce platform in Brazil, according to L Catterton.
CantuStore has five distribution centers and 39 branches in all regions of Brazil, offering complete tire solutions. Among its holdings is DigiTire in East Hartford, Conn., a company focused on providing affordable tires and tire-related services to independent trucking fleets along the Eastern seaboard.
L Catterton declined to comment on the size or scale of its pending investment in CantuStore, which is being carried out by its Latin America fund.
Founded in 2006 by Beto Cantu — and who serves as the company's CEO — CantuStore is a technology and logistics platform that enables complete tire solutions, providing "industry-leading" consumer experience and supporting business partners throughout Brazil.
CantuStore sources a broad portfolio of premium and value tires from both domestic and international manufacturers and sells them directly to consumers through CantuStore's own e-commerce plastform, PneuStore.com.br, as well as through leading Brazilian marketplaces.
CantuStore also partners with and distributes tires to fleet management companies and independent auto shops across Brazil. It also imports and distributes its own private-label tires.
"At CantuStore, we are relentlessly focused on revolutionizing the Brazilian tire aftermarket in order to provide our customers with a superior experience," Beto Cantu said.
"This transaction will give us the resources and knowledge necessary to accelerate customer acquisition, expand to new tire segments, and execute compelling M&A opportunities.
He went on to say CantuStore is "excited to … leverage (L Catterton's) deep consumer insights, digital capabilities, and experience in managing high-growth businesses."
CantuStore is looking to extend its brand and business model to North America through Digitire, which has been in business since 2017. That company features the Amulet brand, produced by Jinyu Tire Group at its factory in Tay Ninh, Vietnam, and recently launched its own brand, Speedmax, with drive and steer-axle position products.
Julio Babecki, a managing partner in the Latin America Fund of L Catterton, called CantuStore a "unique opportunity" for investment, citing the company's "distinctive brand positioning, impressive portfolio, long-standing supplier relationships, and pioneering omnichannel capabilities. …
"We see numerous organic and inorganic value-creation levers for CantuStore and look forward to supporting the company's efforts to unlock its full potential."
Farah Khan, a partner in L Catterton's Latin America Fund, added: "We believe there is a clear opportunity to advance CantuStore's legacy of innovation and market leadership, establishing the company as the top-of-mind one-stop shop for both consumers and business partners across Brazil.
"In our time with Beto and the entire management team, it has become abundantly clear they are a high-performing team with a history of proven execution. We look forward to working with Beto and the rest of the management team in CantuStore's exciting next chapter of growth."
Among L Catterton's current and past investments in the automotive sector are RealTruck, West Marine, AirX Climate Solutions and Vroom.
The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2022, subject to customary closing conditions.