Golden Gate Capital (“GGC”), a leading private equity investment firm, today announced that it has acquired Express Oil Change & Tire Engineers (“Express Oil” or “the Company”) from Carousel Capital. Express Oil will remain headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama and will continue to be led by its current management team, including Chief Executive Officer Ricky Brooks. Express Oil’s management and Carousel Capital will remain shareholders of the Company. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Founded in 1979, Express Oil is one of the largest independent automotive service platforms in the United States, with approximately 300 company-owned and franchise locations across 15 states. Express Oil pioneered a unique operating model offering quick oil changes, automotive maintenance and repair, and tire sales and services, all under one roof. The Company’s focus is on delivering superior customer service with the highest level of integrity and quality in every interaction.
“We are delighted to partner with Golden Gate Capital, which is fully supportive of our long-term strategic plan and appreciates our deep-rooted commitment to exceptional customer service and providing the highest quality automotive products and services,” said Ricky Brooks, Chief Executive Officer of Express Oil. “I am extremely proud of the strong foundation we established throughout our decade-long partnership with Carousel Capital and believe that with Golden Gate Capital’s support we are well-positioned to maintain our momentum as we pursue our growth strategy.”
“After evaluating investment opportunities in the automotive aftermarket space for several years, we are excited to partner with Express Oil, a leading automotive service platform with an excellent management team, strong service culture and proven operating model,” said Josh Olshansky, a managing director at Golden Gate Capital. “We look forward to supporting Ricky and Express Oil’s best-in-class management team as the Company enters its next chapter of growth.”
Golden Gate Capital Managing Director Josh Cohen added, “Express Oil is differentiated by its relentless focus on the customer, including the utmost integrity in every interaction. We are excited to support Express Oil as they build on their 37 years of success, and continue to deliver the outstanding customer experience for which the Company is known.”
Jason Schmidly, Managing Partner of Carousel Capital, said, “We want to thank Ricky and the Express Oil management team for our outstanding partnership. Under their leadership, Express Oil has consistently executed on its growth strategy, including generating industry-leading organic growth and expanding through the successful integration of numerous acquisitions. We are confident that the company has a bright future ahead and are pleased to have the opportunity to remain a part of their future success.”
Certain funds managed by Guggenheim Partners Investment Management, LLC and Antares Capital provided debt financing in connection with the transaction; Ropes & Gray LLP and Nob Hill Law Group P.C. served as legal advisors to Golden Gate Capital. Harris Williams & Co. served as financial advisor and K&L Gates LLP and Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP served as legal advisors to Express Oil and Carousel Capital.
Express Oil Change & Tire Engineers, a recognized leader in the automotive service industry, is headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama and operates automotive service centers providing total car care solutions to customers across 15 states through nearly 300 corporate and franchise locations. For more information, visit www.expressoil.com.
Golden Gate Capital is a San Francisco-based private equity investment firm with over $15 billion of capital under management. The principals of Golden Gate Capital have a long and successful history of investing across a wide range of industries and transaction types, including going-privates, corporate divestitures, and recapitalizations, as well as debt and public equity investments. Representative multi-unit consumer sector investments sponsored by Golden Gate Capital include Bob Evans Restaurants, Red Lobster, Eddie Bauer, California Pizza Kitchen, Pacific Sunwear, Express and Zales. For more information, visit www.goldengatecap.com.
Carousel Capital is a private equity investment firm that invests in companies located in the Southeastern United States and has received commitments of more than $1.2 billion in capital across its funds. Carousel’s investor base includes institutional investors and an elite group of more than 100 current and former CEOs across the region. Since its inception, Carousel has invested in 37 companies primarily in three targeted growth sectors: business services; consumer services; and healthcare services.