Clearlake’s Wheel Pros buys Driven Lighting Group from Kian Capital

Clearlake-backed Wheel Pros enters the enthusiast automotive lighting segment with the transaction.

Clearlake Capital-backed Wheel Pros, a maker and distributor of aftermarket vehicle enhancements, has agreed to acquire Driven Lighting Group. DLG, a digitally-native designer and online retailer of aftermarket enthusiast automotive lighting products, is being acquired from Kian Capital.

PRESS RELEASE

GREENWOOD VILLAGE, CO and ATLANTA, GA – August 25, 2021 – Wheel Pros, a designer, manufacturer and distributor of proprietary branded aftermarket vehicle enhancements for light trucks, SUVs, passenger cars and ATVs/UTVs backed by Clearlake Capital Group, L.P. (together with its affiliates, “Clearlake”) and in partnership with management, today announced it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Driven Lighting Group (“DLG”), a digitally-native designer and online retailer of aftermarket enthusiast automotive lighting products, from Kian Capital. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

“We are thrilled to welcome DLG, its talented employees and customers to the Wheel Pros family. We’re impressed with DLG’s rapid growth and strong market position with brands like Morimoto and online properties like The Retrofit Source and Headlight Revolution,” said Randy White, Co-Founder and CEO of Wheel Pros. “We believe the lighting category is a natural extension of our portfolio of aftermarket vehicle enhancements, and with DLG we can continue increasing penetration of a large white-space opportunity. We look forward to leveraging our scale and infrastructure and working with the DLG team, including Matt Kossoff, Chief Product Officer and founder of Retrofit Source, and Chris Nelson, Chief Marketing Officer and founder of Headlight Revolution, to accelerate growth of the enthusiast aftermarket lighting category.”

Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, Driven Lighting Group is a designer, marketer, influencer and online retailer of enthusiast automotive aftermarket lighting products. DLG has established brands, such as Morimoto and Profile Performance, and in-house product development capabilities that deliver high performance, quality products. DLG’s creative content engine and e-commerce platforms have attracted a large community of enthusiasts and wide customer base ranging from hobbyists to performance-driven consumers.

“DLG has achieved incredible growth in partnership with Kian Capital over the past few years, expanding our online presence, scaling our operational infrastructure, and adding additional adjacent product offerings,” said Brian Reese, CEO of DLG. “We’re excited to join the Wheel Pros organization and leverage their design expertise, scale and operational footprint to accelerate growth. We’ve witnessed what they’ve been able to do in other adjacent categories such as suspension, and we believe together we can rapidly grow lighting in the large enthusiast market.”

“Wheel Pros has historically demonstrated its ability to enter new adjacent product categories both organically and through acquisition, and then drive accelerated growth in these new categories. We are eager to welcome DLG to the Wheel Pros organization and to execute on this proven playbook in the attractive enthusiast lighting segment,” said José E. Feliciano, Co-Founder and Managing Partner, and Colin Leonard, a Partner at Clearlake. “The talented DLG team has created a high growth platform with robust digital and direct-to-consumer capabilities, and we look forward to expanding the product breadth and online presence of the combined Wheel Pros platform through increased investment and by utilizing our O.P.S.® framework.”

“DLG has shown outstanding performance since we first partnered with Matt Kossoff and The Retrofit Source over three years ago, and we’re glad we were able to achieve an outcome the DLG team desired in terms of finding a home where they believe they can accelerate their rapid trajectory,” said Rick Cravey, Co-Founder and Partner, and Scott Buschmann, Partner at Kian Capital. “We are proud to have partnered with DLG over this period of growth and look forward to following the company in its next chapter with Wheel Pros.”

ABOUT WHEEL PROS

Founded in 1995, Wheel Pros serves the automotive enthusiast industry with a wide selection of vehicle enhancements from its portfolio of lifestyle brands, including Fuel-Off-Road, American Racing, KMC, Rotiform and Black Rhino. Utilizing its expanding global network of distribution centers spanning North America, Australia and Europe, Wheel Pros serves over 13,500 retailers and has a growing ecommerce presence to provide enthusiast consumers with access to the products they desire. More information is available at www.wheelpros.com.

ABOUT DRIVEN LIGHTING GROUP

DLG is the leading designer, marketer, influencer and online retailer of aftermarket enthusiast automotive lighting products. Founded in 2005, DLG established the market for performance lighting and is the trendsetter within the space. Today, DLG’s portfolio of premium brands cover all lighting categories including complete assemblies, bulbs, offroad lighting and accent lighting. The extensive product offerings serve a diverse customer base, all of which is fueled by its sophisticated digital marketing and white glove customer service. More information is available at www.drivenlightinggroup.com

ABOUT CLEARLAKE

Founded in 2006, Clearlake Capital Group, L.P. is an investment firm operating integrated businesses across private equity, credit and other related strategies.  With a sector-focused approach, the firm seeks to partner with experienced management teams by providing patient, long term capital to dynamic businesses that can benefit from Clearlake’s operational improvement approach, O.P.S.®  The firm’s core target sectors are technology, industrials and consumer.  Clearlake currently has approximately $39 billion of assets under management, and its senior investment principals have led or co-led over 300 investments. The firm has offices in Santa Monica and Dallas. More information is available at www.clearlake.com and on Twitter @ClearlakeCap.

ABOUT KIAN CAPITAL

Kian is a private investment firm with $425 million of capital under management and a focus on four core industry sectors: consumer, services, value added distribution and specialty manufacturing. Kian’s team of seasoned investors has over 80 years of collective experience providing transformational capital solutions and board-level strategic and operational guidance to founder/owner operated businesses. Kian provides flexible financial resources and additional operational horsepower to scale middle-market businesses, realize aspirations and deliver long-term investment returns through genuine partnership. More information is available at www.kiancapital.com.