Today's Transactions:
Carousel Buys Express Oil for Second Time

The PE firm sold Express to Thompson Street Capital in 2010 after acquiring it in 2005

Charlotte, N.C.-based private equity firm Carousel Capital has purchased Express Oil Change & Service Center from Thompson Street Capital Partners.

Birmingham, Ala.-based Express owns, operates and franchises about 200 car-care facilities that provide oil changes, maintenance and repair services in 13 states.

This is the second time Carousel has owned Express – it sold off the company to Thompson in July 2010. The firm had originally acquired a majority stake in the company in 2005.

Carousel approached Thompson to buy the company back, according to Carousel managing partner William Hobbs.

Thompson hadn’t yet actively sought to sell Express Oil when they were approached, according to Jack Senneff, Thompson’s director of deal origination.

According to Hobbs, Carousel wanted to buy the company back because it sees a lot of consolidation opportunity in the auto aftermarket space. The company is also poised to experience organic growth, Hobbs said. Express Oil will serve as the firm’s new auto parts platform.

Carousel had already made other deals in the space. It acquired auto parts distributor Nestor Sales in 2005, and Simpson Performance Products, a company that makes products for the motor sports industry, in 1998.

Carousel’s other portfolio companies include Brasseler USA, Copac Inc. and Mergent.

Thompson is a St. Louis, Mo.-based private equity firm that invests in service, distribution and manufacturing businesses. The firm manages more than $800 million in capital and is raising its third fund.

For more on the auto aftermarket, see "Winners of the Auto Aftermarket" and "Jalopy Deals Remain Hot."


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