Wynnchurch Closes Second Fund V Platform
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Wynnchurch Closes Second Fund V Platform

Wynnchurch Capital has acquired The Wheel Group, a designer and distributor of branded aftermarket wheels, and specialty tires for the truck, sport utility vehicle, and car markets.

The Wheel Group’s brands include Ion Alloys, Mayhem Wheels, Cali Off-Road Wheels, Touren Wheels, Mazzi Wheels, Dirty Life Race Wheels, AMP Tires, MAX Sensor TPMS, Body Armor 4×4, Mr. Lugnut Wheel Accessories, Metal Lugz Spike Lugnuts and RHI Automotive. The company sells to over 8,000 customers including independent installers, national and regional retailers, e-commerce retailers, and wholesale distributors.

TWG, headquartered near Los Angeles in Ontario, California, operates a network of 20 distribution facilities located in major cities throughout the US and Canada. The company was founded in 1997 by Philip “Billy” Young and today is led by CEO David Williams.

“The Wheel Group has grown into a leading automotive aftermarket business based on our best-in-class customer service, product offering and technical expertise. We look forward to working with Wynnchurch to accelerate our business plan and growth,” said Mr. Williams.

According to Wynnchurch, TWG is positioned to benefit from growing automotive aftermarket demand, particularly in the enthusiast-oriented wheel, specialty tire, and accessory categories.

“TWG is a tremendous new platform investment opportunity for Wynnchurch,” said Frank Hayes, a managing partner at Wynnchurch. “We are thrilled to partner with such a strong and experienced group of executives who have built a market-leading performer. The company fits exceptionally well with our philosophy of investing in businesses that offer a strong value proposition to their customers, possess a differentiated business model and have significant growth potential.”

Wynnchurch makes investments in middle-market companies that have revenues of $50 million to $1 billion. The firm was founded in 1999 and is headquartered in the Chicago suburb of Rosemont with additional offices in Los Angeles (El Segundo) and Toronto.

“The Wheel Group has built a strong reputation based on a portfolio of proprietary brands, high-quality products, and best-in-class sourcing capabilities,” said Neel Mayenkar, a managing director at Wynnchurch. “We are excited to partner with management and help facilitate the Company’s next stage of growth.”

In January 2020, Wynnchurch closed its fifth private equity fund, Wynnchurch Capital Partners V LP (Fund V), with $2.28 billion of committed capital. The new fund, which began its marketing in September 2019 with a target of $1.6 billion, was oversubscribed and closed at its hard cap.

In September 2020, Wynnchurch made its first Fund V platform investment through the buy of Labrie Environmental Group, a Quebec-based maker of refuse collection vehicles with three manufacturing facilities in Canada, Georgia, and Mexico.

© 2021 Private Equity Professional | February 3, 2021

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