Polaris Industries will buy Transamerican Auto Parts (TAP) for about $665 million and enter the retail parts business for the first time, company officials announced Wednesday.
California-based TAP makes, sells and installs accessories for off-road Jeeps and trucks through its network of 75 retail stores, six distribution centers and 1,750 employees.
The acquisition should help Polaris grow revenue. TAP will add seven well-known brand names to Polaris’ aftermarket portfolio, including Pro Comp, Rubicon Express, Poison Spider and Trail Master. The company sells an extensive line of accessories from truck winches and bumper-mounted lights to roll bars, roof racks and parts for drive train and exhaust systems.
In announcing the deal, Polaris CEO Scott Wine said TAP offers a significant growth opportunity because the Jeep and truck aftermarket business is worth about $10 billion and growing.
Right now, Polaris generates $4.7 billion in annual sales. TAP will add another $740 million. The deal is expected to close by the end of the year.
“We are excited,” Wine said. “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 market correspond closely to our off-road vehicle business.”
Once on board, Polaris plans to broaden TAP’s proprietary product lines, expand its retail footprint and cross sell products between customer bases. TAP now operates its retail stores primarily in Western states and in Canada. That will change, officials said.
But something big will change for Polaris, too. TAP is giving Polaris its first presence in the retail store business, said spokeswoman Kelly Basgen. Polaris sells its traditional line of recreational four wheelers, motorcycle and snowmobile products through independent dealers. Under the TAP model, it will own, lease and manage auto-parts stores outright.
TAP is expected to contribute to Polaris’ full-year 2017 earnings. TAP increased profits an average of 17 percent per year between 2012 and 2015, officials said.
The growth plans proved welcome news for weary Polaris investors who have watched the company’s stock rip in half after eight sets of product recalls due to vehicles fires. The latest recalls and fires were reported last month, followed by about 11 investor lawsuits. In September, Polaris reduced its 2016 earnings forecast and watched as investors chipped the stock down to just $70 a share.
On Wednesday, Polaris’ stock jumped 3 percent, or $2.12, a share to close at $76.15. The acquisition announcement proved a shot of “good news” for staff members as well as stock holders. “Everybody here is really excited about this,” Basgen said. “TAP is such a highly adjacent” product line.