When it comes to the annual Aftermarket Business World Top 25 Auto Chain Report, sometimes there’s a story that big numbers alone can’t tell.
That’s the case this year due to the meteoric growth through acquisition of IEH Auto Parts LLC, dba Auto Plus Auto Parts and Pep Boys.
For those keeping score, for the second consecutive year AutoZone edged Advance Auto Parts by having the most company-owned stores in North America with 5,644 compared to approximately 5,200 for Advance Auto Parts, according to the report.
O’Reilly Automotive was third with 4,571 company owned stores in North America, followed by Genuine Parts Company with 1,138 North American company-owned stores.
But the larger story in the last 12 months was the rapid growth through acquisition of Carl Icahn's IEH Auto Parts.
In June 2015, Icahn Enterprises LP completed the acquisition of Uni-Select USA and Beck/Arnley Worldparts, which had supported the U.S. auto parts distribution business of Uni-Select Inc. The $340 million transaction included 22 distribution centers and satellite locations, 259 corporate owned stores and more than 3,500 employees in the U.S.
Rather than settle back and digest this large acquisition, Icahn Enterprises struck again in December 2015 by outbidding Bridgestone Retail Operations LLC in dramatic back and forth fashion to acquire Pep Boys for approximately $1.03 billion. Icahn Enterprises agreed to pay on behalf of Pep Boys a termination fee of $39.5 million to Bridgestone for a previous agreement Bridgestone had struck with Pep Boys. The Pep Boys deal closed on Feb. 4, 2016 and Icahn added 800 locations in 35 states to its portfolio.
As a result of the two acquisitions and other smaller ones, IEH Auto Parts LLC dba Auto Plus Auto Parts and Pep Boys came in fifth place with 1,069 company-owned stores in this year’s Top 25 Auto Chain report. The company, led by CEO and President Brent Windom, reported approximately 21,000 employees and 3,370 total locations. Click here to see the entire Top 25 Auto Chain report.