Our recap of the week’s top stories starts off with news of more expansion in the U.S. for Uni-Select. The Quebec-based distribution group this week announced it is acquiring certain assets of Parts Depot in Florida. After the transaction has closed, Uni-Select will open new stores under its Auto-Plus trademark in those locations where leases have been assumed. Uni-Select expects to add 39 points of sale and five distribution centers, adding a substantial presence in the Florida market to its existing operations. This new business is expected to add sales of $87 million annually. This latest purchase follows Uni-Select’s $210 million acquisition of FinishMaster in January. That deal made Uni-Select the largest independent distributor of automotive paints, coatings and accessories (PBE) in North America, with an expanded footprint in the U.S. market.
In the manufacturing segment this week, Dorman Products announced plans to exit the international portion of the company’s ScanTech business, which is headquartered outside Stockholm, Sweden. ScanTech markets and distributes a line of Volvo and Saab replacement parts throughout the world. As part of the exit, ScanTech’s North American business, which is currently serviced from Sweden, will be transferred to the company’s Colmar, Pa., headquarters and distribution center, while ScanTech’s international business will be offered for sale. The exit process is expected to be executed over the next 12 months.
In other top news, ALLDATA reported the successful prosecution of a software counterfeiting operation that had been illegally selling copied ALLDATA products. ALLDATA’s Anti-Piracy team worked in conjunction with the Sacramento Valley Hi-Tech Crimes Task Force on a six-month investigation into illegally copied ALLDATA products being sold out of Northern California. The subject of the investigation was publicly advertising the pirated software in his efforts to distribute it. Undercover officers conversed with the target, who agreed to provide the illegal product in exchange for cash. The subject was then charged with felony counts of possession/sale of counterfeit articles and on July 27, pleaded guilty to felony charges in Superior Criminal Court. According to a study conducted by the Business Software Alliance, global PC software theft reached $59 billion in 2010.
Meanwhile, AutoZone, corporate parent of ALLDATA, made AMN’s top news recap, reporting sales of $2.6 billion for its fourth quarter ended Aug. 27, an increase of 8.1 percent from the fourth quarter of fiscal 2010. Net income for the quarter increased $32.5 million, or 12.1 percent, over the same period last year to $301.5 million, while diluted earnings per share increased 26.9 percent to $7.18 per share from $5.66 per share in the year-ago quarter. Bill Rhodes, AutoZone chairman, president and CEO, called the fourth quarter numbers a “strong conclusion to a record-breaking year” for the parts retailer.
Last in our look back at the most-viewed items on AMN comes word that Plews Inc., which does business as Plews & Edelman, is acquiring Solon, Ohio-based Omega Power Steering Hose from Atsco Remanufacturing Inc. Terms of the sale were not disclosed. The company did say, however, that the acquisition would immediately increase the company’s SKU coverage of aftermarket power steering hose and improves upon its ability to introduce new applications for its aftermarket power steering customers. The company added that customers of both brands should expect an influx of new application coverage in the immediate future.