Daily News: July 10, 2014

CIT, GE Capital Provide Financing to Support Audax Buy

Audax Group announced it has acquired Wheel Pros from Platinum Equity.

Audax said CIT and GE Capital provided senior debt financing and AEA, Prospect, and Triangle provided junior debt financing. Kirkland & Ellis served as counsel to Audax. William Blair advised Wheel Pros.

Denver, CO-based Wheel Pros is a designer, marketer, and distributor of branded aftermarket wheels. The company also distributes performance tires and accessories. Founded in 1995 with two distribution centers, the company today carries proprietary, leading brands that are recognized across all major vehicle segments and are sold through a national footprint of 25 distribution centers and internationally.

Geoffrey Rehnert, co-CEO of Audax Group, said, “Wheel Pros is a market leader in the automotive aftermarket industry. We look forward to partnering with Randy White, Jody Groce and the Wheel Pros team to grow the business organically and through strategic add-on acquisitions.”

Randy White, CEO of Wheel Pros, said, “We are excited to continue growing the business organically and by leveraging Audax’ expertise in identifying and integrating add-ons. I look forward to working with our new partner and creating a larger strategic enterprise.”

Audax Group is an investor in lower-middle market companies. With offices in Boston, New York and Menlo Park, Audax has over $6 billion in assets under management in its Private Equity, Mezzanine, and Senior Debt businesses.