Wheel Pros, Clearlake acquire TAP from Polaris

by | Jun 17, 2022 | 0 comments

Wheel Pros, a designer, manufacturer and distributor of proprietary branded aftermarket vehicle enhancements for light trucks, SUVs, passenger cars and ATVs/UTVs backed by Clearlake Capital Group, L.P. and in partnership with management, announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Transamerican Auto Parts (TAP) from Polaris  Inc.

TAP is a vertically integrated manufacturer, distributor, retailer and installer of off-road Jeep and light truck parts and accessories. In 2021, TAP generated nearly $760 million in revenue.

“We are thrilled to combine with TAP and build a vertically integrated omnichannel platform for aftermarket automotive enhancements across a wide range of vehicles,” said Randy White, Co-Founder and CEO, and Brian Henderson, Chief Strategy Officer, at Wheel Pros.

“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.”

Headquartered in Compton, California, TAP sells and installs an extensive line of parts and accessories for Jeep and truck enthusiasts, including products manufactured under its six proprietary aftermarket brands: SMITTYBILT, PRO COMP, RUBICON EXPRESS, POISON SPYDER, G2, and 4WP FACTORY. TAP’s omnichannel platform operates under the 4 WHEEL PARTS brand, and serves automotive and off-roading enthusiasts through retail, eCommerce, and wholesale.

The company has a growing online presence via  4WheelParts.com and 4WD.com, and TAP’s integrated platform enables buy online, pick-up, and install in store.

“TAP is a scaled player in the aftermarket automotive industry, and the combination with Wheel Pros creates a vertically integrated omnichannel platform that better serves automotive and off-roading enthusiasts,” said José E. Feliciano, Co-Founder and Managing Partner, and Colin Leonard, Partner, at Clearlake. “We look forward to continuing to leverage our O.P.S.® framework in partnership with the Wheel Pros team to drive both organic and inorganic growth as the company builds upon its position as a premier automotive aftermarket enthusiast platform.”

“With this combination, we have brought together two well-known businesses in the automotive aftermarket industry,” said Dilshat Erkin, Senior Vice President at Clearlake. “We are excited to welcome the TAP team to the Wheel Pros organization and continue to support the combined business as they embark on new innovative projects to accelerate growth.”

The transaction is expected to close early in the third quarter, subject to customary closing conditions. Baird acted as financial advisor to Polaris in connection with the transaction. Kirkland & Ellis LLP served as legal counsel to Wheel Pros and Clearlake.

ABOUT WHEEL PROS

Founded in 1995, Wheel Pros serves the automotive enthusiast industry with a wide selection of vehicle enhancements from its portfolio of lifestyle brands, including 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 serves over 13,500 retailers and has a growing ecommerce presence to provide enthusiast consumers with access to the products they desire. More information is available at www.wheelpros.com.

ABOUT TAP

TAP sells and installs an extensive line of parts and accessories for Jeep and truck enthusiasts, including products manufactured under its six proprietary aftermarket brands: SMITTYBILT®, PRO COMP®, RUBICON EXPRESS, POISON SPYDER™, G2™, and 4WP FACTORY. TAP’s omnichannel platform operates under the 4 WHEEL PARTS brand, and serves automotive and off-roading enthusiasts through retail, eCommerce, and wholesale. More information is available at www.transamericanautoparts.com.

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