Published in Economic Development

Auto-Wares to acquire 4 Michigan auto parts stores from Icahn Automotive

BY MIBIZ STAFF Friday, January 10, 2020 12:16pm

GRAND RAPIDS — Family-owned aftermarket automotive parts distributor and retailer Auto-Wares Group of Companies is expanding its Michigan operations with a new acquisition.

The Grand Rapids-based company signed a definitive agreement to acquire four retail automotive parts stores and their inventories in metro Detroit and Kalamazoo from Kennessaw, Ga.-based Icahn Automotive Group LLC, according to a statement. 

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The companies are aiming for a mid-January close for the deal, after which Auto-Wares will rebrand the locations to its Auto Value Parts Stores brand. 

Icahn Automotive, which owns and operates Pep Boys automotive retail and service locations, will retain all of its Pep Boys-branded locations in Michigan. The company also entered into a supply agreement for Auto-Wares to supply Pep Boys service centers, according to a statement. 

“This is a great opportunity to grow our parts business and increase our overall service levels in the Detroit and Kalamazoo markets,” Auto-Wares President and CEO Todd Leimenstoll said in a statement. 

The deal coincides with a recent expansion of Auto-Wares distribution center in Warren, Leimenstoll added. 

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. 

Auto-Wares employs more than 2,200 people and serves parts stores and services centers in a region spanning Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin. The company operates 175 retail stores and 13 distribution centers, according to its website. 

A spokesperson for Auto-Wares did not respond to a request for comment for this report. 

For Icahn Automotive, the sale allows the company to focus on its “core store footprint,” according to parts division CEO Chris Cox, who praised Auto-Wares’ “strong reputation in the region.”

Icahn Automotive is a division of Icahn Enterprises LP (Nasdaq: IEP), a New York-based conglomerate founded by billionaire investor Carl Icahn. In August, Icahn Automotive announced it would be splitting into two companies focused separately on parts and service, according to a report in Aftermarket News.

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