It was week filled with swift and significant acquisitions in the automotive aftermarket.
On Wednesday, Bosch announced that it is expanding into the automotive air conditioning service market with its acquisition of RTI Technologies. Based in York, Pa., RTI specializes in the development and distribution of automotive maintenance equipment including air condition service (ACS) machines. The business is uniquely positioned to provide access to the technology for new ACS machines to deliver the new refrigerant R1234yf, which will be introduced into the market beginning in 2011 in Europe. RTI had sales of $12 million in 2009 and employs 36 associates, all of whom will be retained by Bosch.
Also this week, Illinois Tool Works Inc. announced an agreement to acquire Shell SOPUS Products’ car care business, which includes the appearance and performance chemical and windshield wiper blade brands of Pennzoil-Quaker State Company dba SOPUS Products, a subsidiary of Shell Oil Company. SOPUS Products’ Car Care business includes such well-known brands as Rain-X, Black Magic and Gumout, among others. The deal is expected to close in early 2011.
Within the distribution segment, late yesterday we learned that Uni-Select is acquiring FinishMaster, therefore making Uni-Select the largest independent distributor of automotive paints, coatings and related accessories (PBE) in the U.S. The business is being acquired for approximately $217 million, including the assumption of $45 million in net debt. FinishMaster will remain a distinct entity within Uni-Select, serving the collision repair market. Its headquarters will remain in Indianapolis, Ind.
Rounding out our recap of the most popular features on AMN this week are two items in a regular series that highlights key individuals leading the aftermarket industry.
First, Counterman editor Mark Phillips sits down with Federal-Mogul President and CEO Jose Maria Alapont to discuss the current state of the company. In this exclusive Executive Interview, Alapont talked about the company’s new state-of-the-art headquarters and technical center in Shanghai, and also discussed his global strategy for the company’s portfolio of leading brands.
AMN also recently rolled out a new feature called “Five Minutes With,” where we have a quick chat with some of today’s brightest aftermarket executives to find out what they are passionate about, both on the professional and personal levels. This week, we find out what makes service center owner Jim Dykstra tick.
Stay tuned next week for our annual AMN Year in Review series where we’ll reflect back on the top news stories, interviews and events of 2010.