Wheel Pros, backed by Clearlake Capital, merged with automotive lifestyle brand Hoonigan. Hoonigan management, including co-founder and CEO Ken Block, co-founder and chief creative officer Brian Scotto and president Jennifer van Dijjk, will remain with the combined company.
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 merged with Hoonigan, a leading automotive lifestyle brand. Hoonigan’s Ken Block, Co-Founder and Head Hoonigan in Charge, Brian Scotto, Co-Founder and Chief Creative Officer, and Jennifer van Dijjk, Hoonigan President, will remain with the combined company. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
“Hoonigan has built an incredible global community by creating must-see content and providing a platform for a diverse set of automotive enthusiasts to express themselves,” said Randy White, Co-Founder and CEO of Wheel Pros. “We are excited to partner with Ken, Brian, Jennifer and the broader Hoonigan team to build a leading digital enterprise that speaks to an attractive demographic and allows passionate consumers to fully embrace their automotive lifestyle.”
Headquartered in Long Beach, California, Hoonigan is a next-generation automotive lifestyle brand with a large and passionate fan base. By championing a subculture that is fueled on the shared passion of going fast and having fun, Hoonigan has built a global community driven by an authentic passion for motorsports and automotive culture. The Company’s deep library of owned, original, franchise, and branded content speaks directly to consumers, as exhibited by its over 40 million monthly views and 180 million average monthly minutes watched. Included in this catalog of content is the award winning Gymkhana Films, the largest automotive viral series in existence. Hoonigan also sells a range of parts and merchandise both online and through specialty retailers, and the company’s racing division competes in rally and rallycross racing events globally.
“This is a very exciting opportunity for Hoonigan to continue to expand and serve its ever-growing audience,” said Mr. Block, who in addition to co-founding the company is also one of its biggest stars. “We have had the chance to work closely with the Wheel Pros team over the last few years, and believe they are the perfect partners to scale this brand globally. Brian and I have always had massive goals for Hoonigan, our race team and the Gymkhana films, and while we have already achieved many, this relationship will help make even the most ambitious goals a possibility. We couldn’t be more thrilled about this combination, as we will now be able to accelerate many of our plans to provide Hoonigan fans with more ways to pursue their passion, from engaging in even more new content and live events to customizing their vehicles. We also look forward to leveraging Hoonigan’s marketing ability to help grow all of the Wheel Pros brands. ”
“Wheel Pros has a strong track record of adding value to brands after combining with them, and we believe the merger with Hoonigan provides the business with enhanced opportunities in a large and rapidly growing market,” said José E. Feliciano, Co-Founder and Managing Partner, and Colin Leonard, a Partner at Clearlake. “The visionary Hoonigan team has created a high growth digital media and commerce platform, and we look forward to working with the combined company to expand the product breadth as well as the digital presence of the business through increased investment and utilizing our O.P.S.® framework.”
“Hoonigan has done a phenomenal job of capturing the imagination of the next generation of automotive enthusiasts, as exhibited by 80% of their viewership being under the age of 34,” added Dilshat Erkin, a Vice President at Clearlake. “Wheel Pros’ proprietary designed and manufactured products for both enhancing performance and improving aesthetics embody the culture and lifestyle of the automotive enthusiast fan base. We’re eager to provide fans across all diverse automotive passions, from off-road to imports, with more alternatives in how they interact with their vehicles and express themselves.”
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.
Hoonigan is a leading next-generation automotive enthusiast brand. Founded in 2010, Hoonigan has built a large community of passionate motorsport fans through its original content that it develops, distributes, and produces via a variety of media platforms. Hoonigan also sells a range of merchandise and performance automotive products direct to consumers. More information is available at www.hoonigan.com.
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 consumer, industrials, and technology. 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.