Market moves: Industry transaction pace rises as year closes

Mergers and acquisitions roundup

Several businesses across trucking's dealer, aftermarket and supplier sectors announced transactions this month as companies finalized sales and expansion plans before the year end. 

As has been the case for months, dealers were much more active than the aftermarket in December, but suppliers also made several moves.

A supplier was first. BorgWarner announced on Dec. 1 the acquisition of the Electric Hybrid Systems business segment of Eldor Corporation. The acquisition is an important complement to the company's ePropulsion portfolio, especially as it relates to expansion in high-voltage power electronics beyond the inverter. "We are pleased to complete the acquisition and welcome Eldor's talented employees to BorgWarner," said Frédéric Lissalde, president and CEO of BorgWarner. 

Next was Boxwheel Trailer Leasing, which reported Dec. 12 the acquisition of Twin Bridges Enterprises in Detroit this week. The move was the fourth acquisition for Boxwheel, which continues to grow its national presence. "Twin Bridges Enterprises has a long history in the Detroit area and is widely respected in the trailer rental industry," said Boxwheel co-founder Mike Sindelar. "Boxwheel will continue to provide the exceptional service and quality semi trailer solutions that Twin Bridges customers are accustomed to." 

Also on Dec. 12 Hunter Truck announced it had been acquired by CEO Jeff Hunter and Fremont Private Holdings from various Hunter family members. Jeff Hunter will continue as CEO and co-owner of the business and its 19 locations moving forward. “We spent a lot of time looking for the right partner to help us grow the Hunter business. We feel fortunate to have found FPH. The FPH team shares our values and has a long history of working closely with management teams to build businesses,” Hunter said.

Velocity Truck Centers followed on Dec. 18 when it announced it has acquired six new locations in Canada. VTC says the addition of P & R with its current locations will give VTC 18 locations across Western Canada in British Columbia and Alberta, making it the largest network of Daimler Truck dealerships in the region. “We are very excited to welcome the P & R team to what is the most comprehensive commercial vehicle sales, service and support network in North America,” said Co-Presidents of VTC, Brad Fauvre and Conan Barker.

In the supplier space, it was announced Dec. 20, that Sentinel Capital Partners acquired High Bar Brands from Heartwood Partners. High Bar includes the Minimizer, Premier Manufacturing, Viking Sales, Dieter's Accessories and Panelite brands. "High Bar Brands is an incredible company with an exciting story. We're thrilled to partner with them on their next phase of expansion by providing the resources and guidance necessary to elevate the company to the next level," said James Coady, partner at Sentinel Partners.

Also on Dec. 20, Northern Touch Truck Wash announced the acquisition of Brake Mobile Wash, a leader in mobile truck and fleet washing services. The move marks a significant expansion of Northern Touch Truck Wash's offerings, the company says, bringing exceptional quality washes directly to clients' locations across Canada. "The team at Brake Mobile Wash is thrilled to become a part of Northern Touch Truck Wash. This move allows us to expand the services offered to Northern Touch's extensive customer base," said Dylan Keller, general manager of Brake Mobile Wash. 

On Dec. 21, STEMCO announced the sale of its Trifecta line of pre-adjusted hub assembly products to Webb Wheel Products, who had initially partnered with STEMCO to launch Trifecta in 2018. “We are proud of what the Trifecta program has become through our partnership with STEMCO,” said PJ Caplan, vice president of sales and marketing for Webb Wheel Products - OEM. “We look forward to building upon that success as we leverage the industry knowledge, technical expertise, and product innovation at Webb Wheel to take the program to the next level for our customers.” 

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