Platinum Equity Sells Wheel Pros to Audax
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Platinum Equity Sells Wheel Pros to Audax

wheel pro nf1Platinum Equity has sold its portfolio company Wheel Pros, a designer and distributor of wheels and tires, to Audax Private Equity.

Wheel Pros is a designer, marketer, and distributor of branded aftermarket wheels, primarily for light trucks and similar vehicles. The company also distributes performance tires and accessories. The company is headquartered in Denver (www.wheelpros.com).

Platinum Equity’s investment in Wheel Pros began with the acquisition of American Racing in 2005. Following a series of add-on acquisitions in 2005 and 2006, Platinum Equity acquired Wheel Pros in 2008 and combined it with American Racing.

koontz nf1“Wheel Pros is a stable and successful business that has evolved into a market leader during our ownership,” said Renee Koontz, principal at Platinum Equity. “The company is well positioned for continued success.”

Platinum Equity invests in a range of industries including information technology, telecommunications, logistics, metals services, manufacturing and distribution. Platinum Equity has completed nearly 150 acquisitions with more than $27.5 billion in annual revenue at the time of acquisition. The firm was founded in 1995 and is based in Beverly Hills with additional offices in New York and London (www.platinumequity.com).

rehnert nf2“Wheel Pros is a market leader in the automotive aftermarket industry. We look forward to partnering with Randy White, Jody Groce and the Wheel Pros team to grow the business organically and through strategic add-on acquisitions,” said Geoffrey Rehnert, Co-CEO of Audax Group.

The Audax Group makes control investments of $10 million to $100 million in middle market companies with transaction values of $25 million to $500 million. Sectors of interest include industrial manufacturing; energy; outsourced industrial services; consumer products; healthcare devices and services; non-asset based logistics; technology; aerospace & defense; business services; and direct marketing.  Audax has over $6 billion in assets under management in its private equity, mezzanine, and senior debt businesses. The firm was founded in 1999 and has offices in Boston and New York (www.audaxgroup.com).

“We are excited to continue growing the business organically and by leveraging Audax’ expertise in identifying and integrating add-ons.  I look forward to working with our new partner and creating a larger strategic enterprise,” said Randy White, CEO of Wheel Pros.

William Blair & Co. advised Wheel Pros.  CIT and GE Capital provided senior debt financing and AEA, Prospect, and Triangle Capital provided junior debt financing.

2014 PEPD • Private Equity’s Leading News Magazine • 7-10-14

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