Highlander Partners LP, a Dallas private equity firm, wrapped up an acquisition of Valvoline's car-care products assets from Ashland Inc. (NYSE: ASH). Terms of the deal remain undisclosed.
The transaction includes the manufacturing and distribution facilities in Hernando, Mississippi, as well as a slate of car-care products. Among the notable brand names are Car Brite, Eagle One and Pyroil.
Car Brite and Eagle One each distribute automotive reconditioning products such as cleaners, waxes and polishes. Pyroil includes a full line of automotive maintenance and performance chemicals.
Also included in the sale are Valvoline's private-label maintenance chemicals sold into the DIY channel. The approximately 140 employees who work in car-care products, including approximately 120 based at the manufacturing and distribution facilities in Mississippi, will join Niteo Products LLC, Highlander's newly created portfolio company.
Proceeds from the sale will be reinvested into Ashland's core lubricants business, including the expansion of Valvoline Instant Oil Change store base, according to Ashland senior vice president Sam Mitchell.
Ashland considered the assets to be non-strategic. For more on how private equity is capitalizing on this trend, see Strategic Buyers Will Shed Non-Core Assets in 2015.
Auto care suppliers continue to be attractive M&A targets. Recent automotive aftermarket deals include 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 more, see “Winners of the Auto Aftermarket.”