In a deal valued at more than $50 million, Wheel Pros and Clearlake Capital are purchasing the Transamerica Auto Parts (TAP) business from Polaris. “We are thrilled to combine with TAP and build a vertically integrated omnichannel platform for aftermarket automotive enhancements across a wide range of vehicles,” claims Wheel Pros co-founder and CEO Randy White.
“TAP’s extensive product portfolio, proprietary brands, manufacturing capabilities, and omnichannel platform have resulted in an automotive and off-roading enthusiast following that we have long admired. 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.”
According to the headlines in the local media, Polaris purchased the auto parts business for $675M but is selling it for $50M "Polaris is unwinding the deal for Transamerica Auto Parts business it made under its previous CEO to concentrate on in its powersports lineup," notes the Star Tribune.
Polaris purchased TAP under previous CEO Scott Wine for $675 million "in order to boost its aftermarket parts and accessories business while moving into the retail business for the first time," claimed the announcement at the time. Unwinding Scott Wine's deal, impacts more than 100 4 Wheel Parts retail locations and TAP's 1,700 employees also move to Wheel Pros." We have a clear vision to be the global leader in powersports," explains Polaris CEO Mike Speetzen. "Our decision to divest TAP better positions us to capitalize on growing consumer interest and demand for our powersports offerings."
Wheel Pros designs, manufactures and distributes aftermarket vehicle enhancements for ATV/UTVs, light trucks, SUVs and passenger cars. Founded in 1995, Wheel Pros portfolio of lifestyle brands, includes 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 now serves more than 13,500 retailers and is expanding its ecommerce presence.
The transaction is expected to close early in the third quarter, subject to customary closing conditions. Baird acted as financial advisor to Polaris Inc. in connection with the transaction. Kirkland & Ellis served as legal counsel to Wheel Pros Pros and Clearlake Capital Group.