Mavis Discount Tire, a Millwood, New York-based tire retailer and wholesaler, has agreed to merge with Express Oil Change & Tire Engineers, a Birmingham, Alabama-based provider of car care solutions. No financial terms were disclosed. With the deal, ONCAP, the mid-market investment arm of Canadian private equity firm Onex Corp, is selling its interest in Mavis, acquired in 2014, to Express backer Golden Gate Capital. The Sorbaro family, which partnered with ONCAP in a Mavis add-on acquisition in 2015, will lead the new U.S. automotive service platform. The deal is expected to close in 2018’s first half. Mavis is also backed by Canadian private equity firm Penfund.
Mavis Discount Tire and Express Oil Change & Tire Engineers to Merge
Transformational Transaction Creates One of the Largest Automotive Service Providers in the U.S.
David and Stephen Sorbaro Will Lead the Combined Company; Ricky Brooks to be Named Executive Chairman
February 23, 2018
MILLWOOD, N.Y. & BIRMINGHAM, Ala.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Mavis Discount Tire (“Mavis”) today announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to merge with Express Oil Change & Tire Engineers (“Express”), a Golden Gate Capital portfolio company, creating one of the largest independent automotive service platforms in the U.S. Upon closing, the combined company will be led by Mavis’ current Co-Chief Executive Officers, David and Stephen Sorbaro, and Express’ Chief Executive Officer, Ricky Brooks, will be named Executive Chairman. ONCAP is selling its stake in Mavis to Golden Gate Capital, which, along with the Sorbaros, will be significant shareholders in the combined company. Financial terms of the transaction, which is expected to close in the first half of 2018, were not disclosed.
The merger of Mavis and Express unites two of the leading operators in the automotive service sector with a history of strong organic sales and service center growth. The combined company will operate more than 830 locations in 24 states across the East Coast, South and Midwest. Golden Gate Capital expects to continue to invest behind this scale platform to accelerate new unit development and to acquire additional automotive service providers in the combined company’s core and contiguous markets.
“We are thrilled to partner with Express and Golden Gate Capital to create a leading company in the auto service industry in terms of service center footprint, financial strength and service quality. We have long admired Ricky and the entire Express team, who share the same values of integrity, trust and outstanding customer service,” said David Sorbaro, Co-Chief Executive Officer of Mavis Discount Tire. “Express is the ideal partner as we continue to expand our footprint nationally. We’re grateful for ONCAP’s support throughout its ownership, and Stephen and I look forward to continuing to provide customers at Mavis and Express with the very best auto care in the industry.”
“This exciting transaction unites two customer-driven companies with a deep-rooted service ethic. Mavis has long been a leader in providing cost-effective and quality tires and service, and we are delighted for the opportunity to partner with them and benefit from each other’s expertise,” said Ricky Brooks, Chief Executive Officer of Express Oil Change & Tire Engineers. “I am confident that together, Mavis and Express will create an entirely new standard of auto care in the U.S.”
Josh Cohen, a Managing Director at Golden Gate Capital, said, “For years we have observed both Mavis’ and Express’ tireless dedication to their customers and operational excellence and we’re elated to have the opportunity to partner with the Sorbaros and Ricky. Uniting these strong, recognized brands will combine best practices and result in an acceleration of their current industry-leading growth.”
Evan Hershberg, a Managing Director at ONCAP, said, “During our ownership David and Stephen did a fantastic job expanding on their world-class platform. We’re proud of what we accomplished together and we wish Mavis, Express and Golden Gate Capital continued success.”
Jefferies is serving as the exclusive financial advisor to Mavis and is leading the financing group which includes Antares Capital, KKR Capital Markets, Angel Island Capital and Cowen. Ropes & Gray LLP and Nob Hill Law Group P.C. served as legal advisors to Golden Gate Capital and Express, and Covington & Burling LLP served as legal advisor to Mavis, the Sorbaro family and ONCAP.
About Mavis Discount Tire
Mavis Discount Tire, based in Millwood, New York is one of the largest independent tire and service providers in the United States, with more than 430 service centers across seven states, including New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Georgia and Florida. In addition to its core offering of tires from over 20 major brands, Mavis offers a menu of repair and maintenance services including brakes, alignments, suspension, shocks, and exhaust. Mavis, which was founded in 1972 by Marion and Victor Sorbaro and has roots dating back to 1949, has a strong reputation for delivering best-in-class customer service and quality. For more information, visit www.mavistire.com.
About Express Oil Change & Tire Engineers
Express Oil Change & Tire Engineers is one of the United States’ largest independent automotive service platforms, providing total car care solutions across approximately 400 company-owned and franchise locations in 19 states. Founded in 1979 and headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama, Express pioneered a unique operating model offering quick oil changes, automotive maintenance and repair, and tire sales and services, all under one roof. For more information, visit www.expressoil.com.
About Golden Gate Capital
Golden Gate Capital is a San Francisco-based private equity investment firm with over $15 billion of capital under management. The principals of Golden Gate Capital have a long and successful history of investing across a wide range of industries and transaction types, including going-privates, corporate divestitures, and recapitalizations, as well as debt and public equity investments. Representative multi-unit consumer sector investments sponsored by Golden Gate Capital include Express Oil Change & Tire Engineers, Bob Evans Restaurants, Red Lobster, Eddie Bauer, California Pizza Kitchen, Pacific Sunwear, Express and Zales. For more information, visit www.goldengatecap.com.
ONCAP is the mid-market private equity platform of Onex (TSX:ONEX). In partnership with operating company management teams, ONCAP invests in and builds value in North American headquartered medium-sized businesses that are market leaders and possess meaningful growth potential. For more information on ONCAP and Onex, visit www.oncap.com and www.onex.com.
Pat Schulte, 914-984-2500, Ext. 5436
Emilie Blouin, 416-362-7711
Josh Henderson, 205-397-1180
Golden Gate Capital:
Sard Verbinnen & Co
David Isaacs/Alyssa Linn
Photo courtesy of Mavis Discount Tire