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Clearlake portfolio company Wheel Pros buys TAP

Wheel Pros has a global network of distribution centers in North America, Australia and Europe that serves over 13,500 retailers.

  • Wheel Pros will pursue both organic and inorganic routes to accelerate growth
  • The investment aims to strengthen the omnichannel platform that serves automotive and off-roading enthusiasts
  • The transaction is expected to close early in the third quarter

Clearlake Capital-backed Wheel Pros, a designer, manufacturer and distributor of aftermarket vehicle enhancements products, on Thursday announced that it is acquiring Transamerican Auto Parts (TAP), a Compton, California-based company working within the same space for off-road Jeep and light truck parts and accessories.

The company is being acquired from Polaris Inc. (NYSE: PII), a Medina, Minnesota-based maker of motorcycles, snowmobiles, all-terrain vehicles, and neighborhood electric vehicles. Although financial terms were not disclosed, the press release said TAP generated nearly $760 million in revenue.

“With this combination, we have brought together two well-known businesses in the automotive aftermarket industry,” said Dilshat Erkin, Clearlake’s senior vice president. “We are excited to welcome the TAP team to the Wheel Pros organization and continue to support the combined business, as they embark on new innovative projects to accelerate growth.”

Wheel Pros has a global network of distribution centers in North America, Australia and Europe that serves over 13,500 retailers.

TAP sells and installs an extensive line of parts and accessories for Jeep and truck enthusiasts, including products manufactured under its six proprietary aftermarket brands: SMITTYBILT, PRO COMP, RUBICON EXPRESS, POISON SPYDER, G2, and 4WP FACTORY. The company says it has a strong e-commerce presence, supported by an omnichannel approach, such as buy online, pick up and install in store.

The company’s management team led by Randy White, co-founder and CEO, and Brian Henderson, chief strategy officer, said they have long admired TAP’s extensive product portfolio: “We look forward to working with the TAP team as we undertake new initiatives to accelerate the growth of the combined business and continue to drive value for our customers, suppliers, and partners.”