Aftermarket Collision Parts Distributor Empire Auto Privately Acquired

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NEW YORK — Sentinel Capital Partners, a private equity firm that invests in promising midmarket companies, on Nov. 18 announced its acquisition of Empire Auto Parts, a specialty distributor of aftermarket collision parts. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Headquartered in Totowa, NJ, Empire operates five distribution hubs and 22 satellite delivery locations across 16 contiguous eastern states. With a vast assortment of top-quality products and a fleet of vehicles providing same-day or next-day delivery, Empire delivers unmatched service to its collision center partners. Empire's product offering covers more than 40,000 parts, including bumper covers, lamps, hoods, fenders, trunk lids, grills, bezels, door mirrors, and other products.

"Since its founding in 1985, Empire has built a reputation of providing best-in-class service through a hub-and-spoke model which now extends up and down the east coast," said Owen Basham, a Sentinel principal. "The Empire team has established a growth playbook based on providing a better buying experience coupled with broad parts availability. We look forward to working with Empire's talented team as they enter their next chapter of growth."

"We are excited to partner with Sentinel as Empire continues to expand within the large and growing collision parts market," said Christopher Siebert, Empire's CEO. "We were looking for four specific criteria when it came to selecting our next partner: support of our strategic vision, an aggressive growth orientation, a strong cultural fit with our team, and industry knowledge and expertise. Sentinel checked all four boxes."

Sentinel has significant industry expertise in the vehicle aftermarket. Investments include Cottman Transmission (transmission repair centers), Holley Performance Products (automotive performance parts for enthusiasts), Nivel Parts (aftermarket golf car parts and accessories), and Vintage Parts (slow-moving and inactive OEM parts).

Sentinel specializes in buying and building midmarket businesses in the United States and Canada in partnership with management. Sentinel targets aerospace and defense, business services, consumer, distribution, food and restaurants, franchising, healthcare, and industrial businesses. Sentinel invests in management buyouts, recapitalizations, corporate divestitures, going-private transactions, and structured equity investments of established businesses with EBITDA of up to $80 million.

Empire offers more than 40,000 certified and non-certified parts to auto collision repair customers throughout the East Coast from 27 strategically located hubs and supporting satellite locations. Empire is a member of the Certified Automotive Parts Association (CAPA) and the Automotive Body Parts Association (ABPA).

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