New York , NY, September 21, 2010 – Avista Capital Partners, a leading private equity firm, announced today that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire the Global Auto Care Business (“Global Auto Care” or the “Business”) from The Clorox Company. The Global Auto Care Business consists primarily of Armor All® and STP®, two of the most iconic brands in the aftermarket appearance and performance auto-care segments. Armor All® and STP® each boast nearly fifty years of innovation, quality, and consumer loyalty.
Upon closing of the transaction, veteran automotive aftermarket industry executive David Lundstedt will join Global Auto Care’s Board of Directors as Executive Chairman. Mr. Lundstedt has had a 31-year career in the automotive aftermarket, including serving as President of the Consumer Products division of Honeywell International and as President and CEO of Prestone Products Corporation. Global Auto Care’s existing management team, including current General Manager Derek Gordon, will remain with the Business.
David Burgstahler, Partner and President of Avista Capital Partners, said “We are very pleased to acquire the Clorox Global Auto Care Business. With the leading Armor All® and STP® brands, worldwide distribution, and a first-class reputation among retailers and consumers, we believe the Business is an attractive investment opportunity for Avista. We look forward to partnering with David Lundstedt, as well as with Derek Gordon and his impressive team at Global Auto Care, to support continued product innovation and the geographic expansion of these brands.”
“The brand strength of Global Auto Care’s product portfolio presents a compelling opportunity,” said Mr. Lundstedt. “With a robust product pipeline and strong innovation across all areas of the Business, we are enthusiastic about the opportunity to grow these leading brands into a world-class appearance and performance auto-care company. I am thrilled to be a part of the Global Auto Care team.”
Don Knauss, the Chairman and CEO of Clorox, said, “These brands hold leading market-share positions and we’re pleased to have identified a growth-oriented owner who will continue to work with the talented auto-care team to build on this strong foundation.”
Allen Yurko, an Avista Capital Partners Industry Executive who will join the Business’ Board of Directors, said “Global Auto Care is an exciting addition to Avista’s investment portfolio. The Business’ iconic brands and extensive shelf presence at major retailers provides a strong platform for future growth.”
“The Global Auto Care management team is excited to be working with Avista Capital Partners and Mr. Lundstedt as we move into the Business’ next phase of growth,” said Mr. Gordon.
The transaction, which is subject to regulatory and other customary approvals and closing conditions, is expected to close by the end of this calendar year.
Kirkland & Ellis LLP served as legal counsel for Avista Capital Partners.
About The Global Auto Care Business
The Global Auto Care Business is a leading manufacturer, marketer and distributor of automotive aftermarket appearance and performance auto-care products. Global Auto Care’s flagship brands, Armor All® and STP®, are among the most recognized brands in the automotive aftermarket sector and have a long history for high quality, innovative and trusted products and a loyal consumer base. In addition to Armor All® and STP®, the Global Auto Care Business includes the Oomph!®, Son of a Gun®, Tuff Stuff® and Car Buddy® brands. Collectively, the Global Auto Care brands offer a myriad of car care appearance and additive products including protectants, wipes, tire and wheel care, washes, waxes, glass cleaners, fuel additives, oil treatments and functional fluids that are sold globally.
About Avista Capital Partners
Avista Capital Partners is a leading private equity firm with offices in New York, Houston, and London. Founded in 2005, Avista's strategy is to make controlling or influential minority investments in growth-oriented healthcare, energy and media companies as well as select industrial and consumer businesses. Through its team of seasoned investment professionals and industry experts, Avista seeks to partner with exceptional management teams to invest in and add value to well-positioned businesses. For more information visit www.avistacap.com.