Polaris has entered into an agreement to purchase Transamerican Auto Parts (TAP), which is a major move into the off-road truck and Jeep accessories market.

TAP owns some major aftermarket brands in the Jeep and 4×4 truck industry, including G2 Axle and Gear, Pro Comp USA, Rubicon Express, Smittybilt and several others.

In addition to producing products, TAP also runs 4 Wheel Parts, which claims to be the largest Jeep and truck parts distributor in the United States through its ecommerce website and more than 50 brick and mortar stores.

Will we start seeing Polaris vehicles and accessories in 4 Wheel Parts stores and TAP-owned products for sale at Polaris dealerships? It would certainly make sense.

Here is Polaris’ official release on the acquisition of TAP:

Polaris Industries Inc. (NYSE: PII) (“Polaris” or the “Company”) announced today that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Transamerican Auto Parts Company (“TAP”), a privately held, vertically integrated manufacturer, distributor, retailer and installer of off-road Jeep and truck accessories, for an aggregate consideration of $665 million, subject to customary closing adjustments. After adjusting for the $115 million estimated net present value of future tax benefits, the purchase price implies a multiple of approximately 9.0 times TAP’s EBITDA for the 12 months ended September 30, 2016.

TAP is a leader in the highly fragmented and growing $10+ billion Jeep and truck accessory market. TAP sells and installs an extensive line of accessories for Jeep and truck enthusiasts, including products manufactured under its seven proprietary, industry-leading aftermarket brands: PRO COMP®, RUBICON EXPRESS, SMITTYBILT®, POISON SPYDER™, G2™, LRG® and TRAIL MASTER®. TAP is the largest retailer and installer in the North American market, selling through its own retail and on-line network while also supporting numerous independent accessory retailers/installers. For the last 12 months ended September 30, 2016, TAP generated approximately $740 million in sales, and from 2012 through 2015, achieved compound annual sales growth of 15 percent and compound annual EBITDA growth of 17 percent.

“We are excited to add TAP’s market leading multi-channel business, proprietary brands, proven management team and experienced employees to the Polaris portfolio,” said Polaris Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Scott W. Wine. “This transaction is consistent with our long term strategy, provides us an immediate leadership position in a growing market, and allows us to accelerate Polaris’ growth and profitability. TAP’s products and services for customers in the off-road four-wheel-drive (‘4WD’) market correspond closely to our Off-Road Vehicle (‘ORV’) business. Further, by broadening TAP’s proprietary product lines, expanding its retail and distribution footprint, where appropriate, and cross-selling both companies’ extensive product offerings to a large combined installed base, we believe we will create significant value for our stakeholders. Our similar cultures, centered on innovative brands and performance, make TAP a great addition to Polaris’ expanding portfolio.”

“Over the past 55 years, our employees have built a company that prides itself on serving our customers with quality products at competitive prices,” said Greg Adler, TAP’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “We see tremendous opportunity for further growth as we become an integral part of the Polaris organization. Combining TAP with Polaris’ aftermarket brand portfolio facilitates significant synergies, while Polaris’ financial resources provide the backing we need to pursue a variety of growth prospects we have identified across the organization.”

Strategic and Financial Benefits

  • Highly Complementary Product Lines: This acquisition creates a leading company across the 4WD off-road enthusiast market and extends Polaris’ presence in aftermarket accessories to attract new consumers to Polaris’ existing portfolio. In particular, TAP’s four-wheel-drive aftermarket products are highly complementary to Polaris ORV business.
  • Expanded Accessories Portfolio and New Product Innovation Capabilities: Significant opportunities exist to incorporate TAP’s considerable off-road product development expertise into the creation of innovative accessories and capabilities for Polaris Engineered product offerings, while utilizing Polaris’ financial strength to accelerate TAP’s product development for its Jeep and truck customers.
  • Significant Growth Potential: TAP manufactures and sources seven proprietary brands and sells and distributes products through multiple channels, including 75 4Wheel Parts stores and two robust online platforms (www.4wheelparts.com and www.4wd.com). TAP sells its brands, as well as more than 200 non-proprietary leading brands, through its own distribution channels and various independent retailers/installers. Polaris’ financial strength creates opportunities to accelerate TAP’s market penetration, and where appropriate, sell select Polaris aftermarket brands through TAP’s retail outlets.
  • Compelling Financial Benefits: The transaction is expected to be accretive to Polaris’ earnings per share, excluding purchase accounting/acquisition costs, for the full year 2017. The Company expects meaningful annual cost savings within three years following closing, primarily from efficiencies related to procurement, distribution, and expanded product offerings.

The transaction is subject to regulatory approval and other customary closing conditions, and is expected to close by year-end 2016. Following the closing of the transaction, TAP will operate as a distinct business unit reporting to Steve Eastman, Polaris’ PG&A President. Polaris expects to fund the acquisition with borrowings under existing credit facilities.

BofA Merrill Lynch acted as exclusive financial advisor to Polaris, and Faegre Baker Daniels LLP acted as Polaris’ legal advisor. Jefferies acted as lead financial advisor to Transamerican. Houlihan Lokey also served as financial advisor to TAP and Sullivan & Cromwell acted as TAP’s legal advisor.



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