Carousel Capital announced today that it has launched a new platform in the Automotive Aftermarket Service industry geographically focused on the Southeastern United States and adjacent markets. Carousel is forming the foundation for this platform through its initial acquisition of Express Oil Change & Service Center, which comprises approximately 200 service locations across the Southeast. Headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama, Express and its franchisees operate in every state from Texas to North Carolina across the southern part of the region and from Oklahoma to Virginia to the north.
Express is the largest independent operator of quick oil change and automotive service centers in the region and boasts a service model and physical location footprint that includes a complete quick oil change facility and full maintenance offering under one roof. This allows Express to offer a broad array of services, including a growing tire offering, to produce among the highest revenue and profit per unit results in the industry. Express is known for the high levels of customer service and convenience it provides, strong customer loyalty, career opportunities for its employees, successful franchisees and industry leading company owned location performance.
“The Express service model and successful history of operating significant numbers of company owned locations provide numerous options for organic and acquisition related growth as the automotive aftermarket service industry continues to consolidate,” said, Jason C. Schmidly, Managing Partner of Carousel Capital. “With the age of the vehicle fleet on the road today continuing to climb, this continues to be as important as ever.”
“We have had a long relationship with the people at Carousel Capital and our entire Express family looks forward to aggressively growing the Company through our partnership,” said Richard A. Brooks, Chairman and CEO of Express. “We have never been as excited about the organic growth plan before us and the opportunity to selectively pursue greater density in the region through acquisitions to ensure we are able to meet every customer need for a well-maintained vehicle.”
Through this recapitalization, management maintained a significant ownership position in the business, having built substantial value through direct ownership and invested additional capital at closing. Carousel Capital funded the transaction with equity from its fourth investment fund, Carousel Capital Partners IV, L.P. along with co-investment provided by GoldPoint Partners (formerly New York Life Capital Partners), TIAA, affiliates of Hartford Investment Management Company and TwinBridge Capital Partners. Senior debt financing for the transaction was provided by GE Antares and Golub Capital along with mezzanine financing provided by GoldPoint Partners and TIAA. K&L Gates LLP provided legal counsel to Carousel Capital.
Carousel Capital (www.carouselcapital.com) is a private investment firm that invests in companies located in the Southeastern United States. Carousel’s investor base includes institutional investors and an elite group of more than 100 current and former CEOs with significant operating experience. Since its inception, Carousel has invested in 30 companies primarily in three targeted growth sectors: business services; consumer products and services; and healthcare services.