The Sterling Group, a Houston-based middle market private equity firm, announced that its portfolio company, Highline Aftermarket (“Highline”) has completed the acquisition of South/Win. Highline is a leading national distributor of consumable products, with strategic manufacturing capabilities, serving multiple channels across the automotive aftermarket. Headquartered in Greensboro, North Carolina, South/Win is a manufacturer of automotive fluids going to market under a variety of brands including Rain-X, Windex, Blue Coral, and Krystal Kleer.
Sterling’s simultaneous combination in April 2016 of family-owned DYK and corporate carve-out AAHC, since renamed Highline, created a strong new automotive aftermarket distribution platform. The later acquisitions of Service Champ and Levin’s have increased channel and geographic penetration and further solidified Highline as a market leader. The addition of South/Win provides Highline with a highly efficient automotive fluid manufacturing footprint to serve its end markets.
“Over 30 years, Will and Blaine DuBose have built a fantastic business at South/Win with a reputation for high-quality products and exceptional customer service,” stated Darcy Curran, CEO of Highline Aftermarket. “When combined with Highline’s existing manufacturing and coast-to-coast distribution capabilities, South/Win strengthens Highline’s ability to serve customers nationwide.” Will DuBose will lead Highline’s combined manufacturing business.
“We believe the Highline and South/Win combination will result in additional organic growth opportunities, significant synergies, and broader product and channel reach, including solidified leadership in the windshield wash market,” said Gary Rosenthal, a Partner at The Sterling Group. Highline has more than doubled in size during its two year partnership with Sterling and will continue to pursue both organic and acquisition related growth strategies.
About The Sterling Group
Founded in 1982, The Sterling Group is a private equity investment firm that targets controlling interests in basic manufacturing, distribution and industrial services companies. Typical enterprise values of these companies range from $100 million to $750 million. Sterling has sponsored the buyout of 52 platform companies and numerous add-on acquisitions for a total transaction value of over $10.0 billion. Currently, Sterling has over $2.2 billion of assets under management.
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