October 26, 2020

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Private equity firm acquires Warren Distribution, Highline Aftermarket
article image
Photo courtesy of Highline Aftermarket

A private equity firm is acquiring Warren Distribution, Inc., a leading manufacturer of private label lubricants and automotive chemicals that is majority owned by Chairman and CEO Bob Schlott, and Highline Aftermarket Holdings, LLC, a leading national distributor of automotive aftermarket products that is majority owned by The Sterling Group. Pritzker Private Capital (PPC) is a leader in family direct investing based in Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A. PPC and co-investors are investing alongside members of the Highline and Warren management teams. The companies will be combined upon closing of the transaction, which is expected by December 2020.

The combined company will be a leader in the manufacture and distribution of automotive aftermarket consumable products. The company will have 27 facilities across North America and more than 22,000 SKUs, including windshield washer fluid, automotive lubricants and a wide variety of consumable automotive aftermarket products. Darcy Curran, Highline’s current CEO, will lead the combined business and Bob Schlott, Warren’s chairman and CEO, whose family founded Warren in 1922, will remain as a board advisor.

“We are excited to partner with Bob Schlott and the team at Warren Distribution as we continue to grow our great businesses,” said Curran. “Highline and Warren have a shared passion for delivering world-class customer service, and together we’ll strive to be the best company to work for, buy from and sell to in the automotive aftermarket.”

“For nearly 100 years, Warren has been a leader in private label lubricants, and I believe the combination with Highline represents an exciting new chapter in Warren’s long history,” said Schlott. “Highline, Warren and PPC all share a philosophy of building great companies for the long-term with a strong commitment to customers, employees and our communities.”

Michael Nelson, head of Investing at PPC, added, “We are thrilled to partner with Darcy, Bob and the Highline and Warren teams in building this exciting combination for long-term success. As a leading supplier for the automotive aftermarket, the combined company will have tremendous opportunities for growth, both through organic initiatives and accretive acquisitions.”

About Highline Aftermarket

Headquartered in Memphis, Tennessee, U.S.A., Highline Aftermarket is a leading national distributor of automotive products, with 15 distribution centers and eight state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities serving multiple channels across the aftermarket industry. With more than 500 employees, Highline serves as an important link between manufacturers and customers, offering a robust portfolio of national brands, original-equipment replacement products, private-label goods, and in-house chemical blending and packaging.

For more information about Highline Aftermarket, visit www.highlineaftermarket.com.

About Warren Distribution

Headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska, U.S.A., Warren Distribution is a family-owned business that was founded nearly 100 years ago in 1922 by the grandfather of Bob Schlott, the current chairman and CEO. Today, Warren Distribution is one of the largest private label blenders and one of the largest independent lubricants and automotive chemicals manufacturers and suppliers in North America. Warren Distribution is a private label supplier for some of the largest retailers, marketers and lubricants distributors in North America and has customers in more than 30 countries. It has the capacity to produce millions of gallons of bulk and packaged lubricants from more than 1,100,000 square feet of manufacturing and distribution facilities in Iowa, West Virginia, Alabama and Texas.

For more information about Warren Distribution, visit www.warrendistribution.com.

About Pritzker Private Capital

Pritzker Private Capital partners with middle-market companies based in North America with leading positions in the manufactured products, services and healthcare sectors. The firm’s differentiated, long-duration capital base allows for efficient decision-making, broad flexibility with transaction structure and investment horizon, and alignment with all stakeholders. Pritzker Private Capital builds businesses for the long term and is an ideal partner for entrepreneur and family owned companies. Pritzker Private Capital is a signatory to the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI).

For more information about Pritzker Private Capital, visit www.ppcpartners.com.

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