A New Investment Firm Takes Over Ownership of Wheel Pros

April 10, 2018

The ownership of Wheel Pros Holdings LLC has changed from one private equity group to another. The 23-year-old designer, marketer and distributor of aftermarket wheels serves more than 10,000 retailers across the globe.

Audax Private Equity, which acquired Wheel Pros in 2014, has sold the business to Clearlake Capital Group L.P. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Jay Mitchell, managing director of Audax, said the Wheel Pros team "did an exceptional job growing the business. The team completed three acquisitions, expanded its distribution footprint, entered into new end markets, and did so while maintaining a relentless focus on service, quality and innovation."

Wheel Pros has a portfolio of 12 propietary brands with more than 300 custom wheel styles. The company also distributes performance tires and accessories. Wheel Pros products are visible in all vehicle segments, from light trucks and SUVs to passenger cars and power sport utility vehicles.

Wheel Pros' headquarters is in Denver, Colo. The company was founded with two distribution centers in 1995, and now has 30 distribution centers in the U.S., plus three international distribution locations.

Jody Groce and Randy White, co-founders and co-CEOs of Wheel Pros, issued a joint statement:

"We are thrilled to partner with Clearlake as we look to bolster Wheel Pros' leadership position in automotive aftermarket wheels. 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 personalize 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."

José E. Feliciano, co-founder and managing partner at Clearlake, said, "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. 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."

Colin Leonard, a partner at Clearlake, said, "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. 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."

For more information about Clearlake, go to www.clearlake.com.

For more information about Wheel Pros, visit www.wheelpros.com.