Audax buys Wheel Pros from Platinum Equity

Platinum Equity has sold Wheel Pros to Audax Private Equity. No financial terms were disclosed. William Blair provided financial advice to Platinum Equity on the transaction. Wheel Pros is a maker of high-performance wheels and tires.

PRESS RELEASE

LOS ANGELES, CA–(Marketwired – Jul 9, 2014) – Platinum Equity today announced the sale of Wheel Pros, a leading designer and distributor of high performance wheels and tires to the automotive aftermarket, to an affiliate of Audax Private Equity. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

“Wheel Pros is a stable and successful business that has evolved into a market leader during our ownership,” said Renee Koontz, principal at Platinum Equity. “The company is well positioned for continued success.”

Platinum Equity’s investment started with the acquisition of American Racing in 2005. Following a series of add-on acquisitions in 2005 and 2006, Platinum Equity acquired Wheel Pros in 2008 and combined it with American Racing, creating a market leader with one of the most comprehensive portfolios of aftermarket wheel brands in the industry. The integrated business today operates under the Wheel Pros name in the United States and as American Racing overseas.
In connection with the integration, Platinum Equity appointed Randy White, a former American Racing executive who co-founded Wheel Pros in 1994, and Jody Groce, also a co-founder of Wheel Pros, to lead the business. In the years that followed, Wheel Pros invested in new technology systems, improved its distribution network and expanded into new markets.

“We appreciate all the hard work and effort that has gone into the company’s transformation over the years,” added Ms. Koontz. “We wish Randy, Jody and their teams all the best for the future.”

William Blair served as financial advisor to Platinum Equity on the sale of Wheel Pros. Bingham McCutchen served as legal advisor to Platinum Equity.

About Platinum Equity
Founded by Tom Gores in 1995, Platinum Equity is a global investment firm with more than $7 billion in assets under management and a portfolio of operating companies that generated approximately $15 billion in revenue in 2013. Platinum Equity specializes in mergers, acquisitions and operations — a trademarked strategy the firm calls M&A&O® — acquiring and operating companies in a broad range of business markets, including manufacturing, information technology, telecommunications, transportation and logistics, media, equipment rental, metals and other industries. Over the past 19 years Platinum Equity has completed more than 150 acquisitions.

 

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