Huron’s Auto Auction Business Growing

Huron Capital’s XLerate Group continues to grow with the recent buys of Morton Auto Auction (MAA) and Southeastern Auto Auction (SEAA).

Huron Capital formed XLerate through the acquisition in May 2014 of American Auto Auction Group (AAAG) from Baird Capital. Baird had conducted a consolidation in the auto auction industry to form Charleston, SC-based AAAG through the buys of six auction businesses over a four year period. At the time of the sale to Huron, AAAG had operations in California, Wisconsin, South Carolina, Mississippi, Texas and Florida. Huron Capital rebranded AAAG in November 2014 to XLerate Group.

With the buys of MAA and SEAA, Huron has now closed seven add-on acquisitions for XLerate. The five earlier add-ons were Greater Kalamazoo Auto Auction (May 2015), Grand Rapids Auto Auction (May 2016), EPI-El Paso (June 2016), Lone Star Auto Auction (December 2016), and Corry Auto Dealers Exchange (March 2017).

Today, XLerate facilitates transactions between buyers and sellers at its Internet-enabled physical sales locations in California, Wisconsin, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas, Michigan, Illinois, Georgia and Florida. The company is led by CEO Cam Hitchcock and is headquartered in Indianapolis (www.xlerategroup.com).

“Adding MAA to the XLerate family helps solidify our Midwest footprint and adds another highly respected independent operator to our management team,” said Mr. Hitchcock. “We have stayed the course with XLerate’s long-term strategy to grow our business, footprint and service offerings by acquiring companies with high-quality independent sales and strong operating management.”

The buy of MAA from Steve and Ted Krupa – they acquired the business in 2006 from the co-founding Weihmeir family – is XLerate’s fifth Midwestern location. MAA serves many auto dealers in Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, Missouri and Indiana, as well as commercial consignors. The company is headquartered near Peoria in Morton, IL (www.mortonaa.com).

XLerate acquired SEAA from Wayne DeLoach, Tommy Childs, and Danny Williams who founded the company in 1987. Savannah, GA-based SEAA services dealers and consignors in Georgia, South Carolina and Florida and the company also conducts a weekly public sale (www.southeasternaa.com).

“We are excited to welcome SEAA to our extensive network of auction houses and to the growing XLerate family,” said Matthew Lacki, a vice president at Huron. “We believe our buy-and-build strategy and XLerate’s strong management team provide the company with the resources necessary to be an industry leader.”

Huron Capital is an operationally-focused private equity firm that makes control and non-control investments in companies with revenues of $20 million to $200 million and EBITDAs of $5 million or more. Sectors of interest include business services, consumer goods & services, and specialty industrials. Founded in 1999, Detroit-based Huron Capital has raised over $1.8 billion in capital through six private equity funds and invested in over 150 companies (www.huroncapital.com).

© 2019 Private Equity Professional | January 15, 2019

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