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TPS mergers and acquisitions roundup for August 2023

Feb 20, 2024

Several manufacturers ratcheted up their expansion plans with acquisition announcements in August. Aftermarket and dealer operations weren't quite as active though one national chain announced two purchases a large dealer sale went through.

That dealer sale kicked off the month and might have been the industry's largest shift.

RWC International announced Aug. 7, it will acquire Kyrish Truck Centers (KTC). The tentative closing date on the transaction is Dec. 31. KTC represents International, IC Bus, Isuzu, Hino, Autocar and Battle Motors brands. Assets sold to RWC include specific assets of the truck dealership operation, school bus sales business and full-service vehicle leasing company. Related real estate is also included. "I am thrilled to have the opportunity to acquire KTC. The legacy of Ed Kyrish and his family is very special," said Bob Cunningham, RWC CEO. "I am really looking forward to getting the process started."

The next day manufacturer High Bar Brands announced its purchase of Dieter’s Accessories, a renowned manufacturer of heavy-duty truck parts and stainless steel accessories. “We are excited to welcome Dieter’s Accessories into our family of brands,” said Christopher Thorpe, president and CEO of High Bar Brands. “Dieter’s reputation for 40 years of exceptional quality aligns perfectly with our commitment to exceeding customer expectations and providing customer solutions. This international acquisition marks an exciting milestone for us and represents a platform for further growth in Canada and the U.S.”

After that, it was Cox Automotive's turn. The company announced Aug. 9, its purchase of Corcoran's Mobile Services. The latter is headquartered in Houston and has operations in 30 states. "We thrive on delivering a seamless experience 24/7, powered by our more than 1,400 elite technicians ensuring customers' fleets keep moving," said Ted Coltrain, vice president of operations at Cox Automotive Mobility Services. "Our purchase of Corcoran's Mobile Services reinforces our promise to show up as the Trusted Partner for our customers."

In the aftermarket, FleetPride was active again, acquiring Integrity Fleet Services, a provider of fleet maintenance and repair solutions based in Pacific, Wash. "Integrity Fleet Services brings truck and trailer service expertise and great talent to our organization," said Mike Harris, FleetPride president of parts and service. "We are excited to welcome Glen and the entire Integrity Fleet Services team to FleetPride. With a service center located in Pacific, Wash., a fleet of mobile maintenance trucks on the road, and our existing parts locations nearby, this creates a winning combination for customers."

ConMet continued its growth trajectory in August as well, acquiring the assets focused on e-mobility products from the Saietta Group's Netherlands branch. "This marks a significant milestone for ConMet as we expand our eMobility business and embark on a journey of exciting product development opportunities," said ConMet President John Waters. "The integration of Saietta Group's resources and expertise in the Netherlands strengthens our ability to bring innovative solutions to the commercial vehicle industry."

In the OEM sector, Fultra, parent company of Fruehauf, acquired East Manufacturing on Aug. 16. “We are thrilled to welcome East Manufacturing to the family,” said Jorge Martinez, CEO of Fultra. “East really fits with our vision to be the trusted solutions partner for the commercial vehicle market in North America. We are confident that our employees and communities as well as customers, dealers and suppliers, will benefit from our combined strengths. We are honored and proud to be the stewards of two iconic brands like East and Fruehauf in North America.”

On Aug. 18, Safe Fleet broke the news it had purchased Merlot Vango Tarping Solutions, an industry-leading provider of rolling tarpaulin systems for flatbed and platform trailers. “Merlot is a perfect addition to our existing tarping systems business, adding breadth to our product portfolio to serve a key commercial vehicle market segment,” said John R. Knox, Safe Fleet chairman and CEO. “Their innovative products combined with exceptional installation and aftermarket parts and service support will add to the Safe Fleet value proposition for commercial vehicle fleets and operators.”

Next was more news from FleetPride, which acquired another service business on the other side of the nation with Knowles On Site Repair. "As we welcome the Knowles team, we're not only strengthening our commitment for continued growth, but also providing meaningful solutions for customers," said Harris. "We have an outstanding team in these markets already, and I'm excited to incorporate the new members from Knowles to support customers better than ever. To that end, we have significantly expanded our footprint in recent years, now more than 300 locations."

The month closed with the announcement Clarios had acquired Paragon GmbH & Co. KGaA’s power business that produces batteries and battery management systems. “The low-voltage network is critical to the new user experiences, data collection methods and power system transformation underway in vehicles,” said Clarios CEO Mark Wallace. “Paragon’s team has the skills, culture and commitment to add new capabilities that will accelerate our partnership with key OE customers, especially around advanced Li-Ion programs.”