Harris Williams & Co. Advises on the Merger of DYK Automotive with AAHC and the Subsequent Recapitalization

May 16, 2016

Harris Williams & Co., a preeminent middle market investment bank focused on the advisory needs of clients worldwide for 25 years, announces the merger of DYK Automotive, LLC (DYK), a portfolio company of Dobbs Management Service (DMS), with AAHC, Inc. (AAHC), an operating company of Marubeni Corporation, a Japan based, integrated trading conglomerate.  As part of the merger, The Sterling Group (Sterling) will join DMS and management in the investment as the new majority shareholder of the combined entity.  Harris Williams & Co. acted as the exclusive advisor to DYK on the merger and recapitalization.  The transaction, which closed April 1, 2016, was led by Joe Conner, Jason Bass and Jershon Jones from Harris Williams & Co.’s Transportation & Logistics (T&L) Group, Bob Baltimore and Marshall Croft from the firm’s Specialty Distribution Group and Michael Gessner of Harris Williams & Co.’s Richmond office.

 “DYK and AAHC are two well recognized leaders in specialty distribution to the automotive aftermarket. The combination of the two companies will provide enhanced product offerings, nationwide scale, better service and a more compelling value proposition to customers that should create a tremendous platform for growth,” said Joe Conner, a managing director in Harris Williams & Co.’s T&L Group.

“This was an incredibly complex transaction that required coordination with numerous partners in the U.S. and Asia,” said Jershon Jones, a director in Harris Williams & Co.’s T&L Group. “The carve-out of AAHC from Marubeni, merger with DYK, and subsequent majority sale to Sterling represents the culmination of a great deal of vision and expertise by everyone involved. This transaction also reflects Harris Williams & Co.’s continued market leadership in M&A advisory services to the automotive aftermarket.”

DYK is a premier, nationwide automotive aftermarket manufacturer and distributor providing branded and private label packaged oil, chemicals, parts and accessories with a focus on short line, high velocity products. DYK’s value proposition includes providing solutions for complex supply chain challenges to manufacturers who sell to retailers but are unable to efficiently manage the logistics and service requirements for their customers. DYK’s various divisions include AP Auto, Keltner Enterprises, Twinco Romax, Robert Elgart Automotive and Superior Automotive, each of which has over 50 years of successful operating history.

AAHC is a leading automotive aftermarket distributor providing branded and private label packaged oil, chemicals, parts and accessories to various customer channels and markets. AAHC distributes products nationwide to automotive jobbers, quick lube shops, car washes, warehouses and tool distributors. AAHC is well regarded in the market for highly reliable distribution of market leading branded merchandise. AAHC’s various divisions include Prime Automotive Warehouse, S&E Distributors and Frank Millman Distributors.

Based in Memphis, Tennessee, DMS is the family office of the John Hull Dobbs Family. DMS was founded in 1920 as a successful automobile business and has grown to include multiple investments across various industries. Specializing in providing capital to small and medium-sized companies, DMS seeks to invest alongside management in businesses that are well positioned for growth. DMS currently has portfolio companies that span several industries, including automotive, food and beverage, healthcare, industrial and financial services.

Founded in 1982, Sterling is a private equity investment firm that targets controlling interests in basic manufacturing, distribution and industrial services companies. Typical enterprise values of these companies range from $100 million to $500 million. Sterling has sponsored the buyout of 46 platform companies and numerous add-on acquisitions for a total transaction value of over $10 billion. Currently, Sterling has $2.3 billion of assets under management.

Harris Williams & Co. (www.harriswilliams.com), a member of The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. (NYSE:PNC), is a preeminent middle market investment bank focused on the advisory needs of clients worldwide.  The firm has deep industry knowledge, global transaction expertise and an unwavering commitment to excellence.  Harris Williams & Co. provides sell-side and acquisition advisory, restructuring advisory, board advisory, private placements and capital markets advisory services.

Harris Williams & Co.’s T&L Group serves companies in a broad range of attractive niches, including the automotive and heavy duty vehicle market, third-party logistics (3PL), truck, rail, marine and air transportation, and transportation equipment.  For more information on the firm’s T&L Group and other recent transactions, visit the T&L Group’s section of the Harris Williams & Co. website.

Harris Williams & Co.’s Specialty Distribution Group has experience across a variety of sectors, including branch-based distributors; specialty catalog and direct marketing; consumer; industrial, MRO and safety; automotive and heavy duty aftermarket; building and construction products; healthcare; technology; electrical and communications; and alcohol, tobacco and fire arms.  For more information on the firm’s Specialty Distribution Group, visit the Specialty Distribution Group’s section of the Harris Williams & Co. website.

Investment banking services are provided by Harris Williams LLC, a registered broker-dealer and member of FINRA and SIPC, and Harris Williams & Co. Ltd, which is authorized and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.  Harris Williams & Co. is a trade name under which Harris Williams LLC and Harris Williams & Co. Ltd conduct business.