Highlander buys auto-care supplier Hi-Tech for distribution capabilities

Register now

Middle-market private equity firm Highlander Partners LP has acquired a controlling stake in Hi-Tech Industries Inc., a maker of car care products and accessories.The Hi-Tech deal marks as the PE firm’s third acquisition in the sector within the last six months. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Hi-Tech is a Farmington, Michigan-based provider of professional automobile care products such as buffing pads and aerosols. The target manufactures a variety of products, including: carpet dyes, paints, cleaners and dressings, odor eliminators, bonnets, backing plates, detail brushes, floor mats, microfibers, buffers and wash mitts. Hi-Tech currently has distribution partners established in the U.S. and more than 30 countries across Europe, Latin America, South America and Asia.

“Hi-Tech provides additional distribution reach and adds to our ability to service customers across our complete product offering nationally,” states Highlander managing partner Jeff Hull. The deal reinforces the firm’s strategy “to build a leading business in professional automotive products including car wash, auto dealership, auto auction and professional detailer markets.” Hi-Tech will operate through a holding company owned by Highlander, joining the firm’s previous investments in automotive appearance and maintenance products.

Highlander, located in Dallas, has more than $1.2 billion in assets under management and backs companies that generate up to $500 million in sales. Some of the firm’s other investments include: car-care product provider Valvoline; ingredients manufacturer Fuerst Day Lawson Holdings Ltd; auto-parts manufacturer Lund International; and packaging company Popular Ink.

Auto care suppliers continue to be attractive M&A targets. Related automotive, aftermarket deals include: Genuine Parts Co.’s (NYSE: GPC) purchase of Covs Parts Pty Ltd.; United Stationers’ (Nasdaq: USTR) acquisition of Medco, Delphi Automotive's (NYSE: DLPH) purchase of Unwired Technology; and Trim Parts’ purchase of Mr. Mustang Inc.

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, click here.