Clearlake Capital acquires Wheel Pros
Aftermarket wheel designer, marketer and distributor Wheel Pros has a new owner. The US-based company, previously the property of Audax Private Equity, has been sold to Clearlake Capital Group for an undisclosed sum. With its acquisition of Wheel Pros Holdings, LLC, Clearlake Capital Group takes on a company that serves over 10,000 retailers through its network of 33 distribution centres in North America and Australia, supplying them a portfolio of 12 proprietary brands and more than 300 custom wheel styles.
“We are thrilled to partner with Clearlake as we look to bolster Wheel Pros’ leadership position in automotive aftermarket wheels,” said Jody Groce and Randy White, co-founders and co-chief executive officers of Wheel Pros. “Our customers demonstrate a strong connection to their vehicles and take pride in their presentation. Custom wheels continue to be one of the most visible ways to personalise a vehicle and our customers use it as an opportunity to express their personality. Clearlake’s operational expertise and substantial resources will allow us to continue innovating and providing the highest quality products and services to our customers and help us accelerate growth.”
“Wheel Pros is a clear market leader in automotive aftermarket wheels, and we are excited to partner with Randy, Jody, and the management team as the company enters its next phase of growth,” said José E. Feliciano, co-founder and managing partner at Clearlake. “Wheel Pros’ superior product innovation, diverse portfolio of iconic brands, and relentless focus on customer service and consumer satisfaction has allowed the company to develop a passionate and loyal customer base as well as enabled the company to establish itself as the leading distributor in the industry.”
“We look forward to supporting Wheel Pros in its strategic growth initiatives, including further expanding its distribution network and increasing the breadth of its offering, both organically and through acquisitions,” added Colin Leonard, partner at Clearlake. “The company’s diverse portfolio of brands and strong position in very attractive vehicle segments should enable the platform to continue on its growth trajectory and expand market share.”
Wheel Pros was founded in 1995 with two distribution centres. Today the company has a strong presence across all major vehicle segments, including light trucks, SUVs, passenger cars, and power sport utility vehicles.
Upon parting from Wheel Pros, Geoffrey S. Rehnert, co-chief executive officer of the Audax Group, described the company as “a leader in the automotive aftermarket industry.,” adding: “The Wheel Pros team has demonstrated tremendous success in growing the business, and we wish both the management team and Clearlake Capital continued success.”