09/29/2006 - American Racing Equipment, Inc. Acquires Weld Wheels Industries, Inc.
RANCHO DOMINGUEZ (September 29, 2006) – American Racing Equipment, Inc., a Platinum Equity company, announced today that it has acquired substantially all of the assets of Weld Wheel Industries, Inc., a market leader in forged wheel technologies. Weld's operations will be integrated with American Racing, which will continue manufacturing wheels under the Weld brand at facilities in Kansas City and elsewhere. The acquisition will increase American Racing's market share in the automotive aftermarket wheels industry, and add important capabilities in the manufacture and distribution of high-performance forged wheels.
"Weld Wheels are among the most well known brands in the aftermarket and race wheel industries, and Weld Wheel Industries and the Weld Racing brand are vital additions to the American Racing family of products," said Bob Swelgin, President and CEO of American Racing Equipment. "We are committed to ensuring the financial and operational stability of Weld, and providing customers with the highest level of service and quality products."
Weld Wheels Inc. is well known not only for its stylish performance-oriented designs, but also for its forged wheel manufacturing process, which produces high-performance, premium wheels that are significantly lighter and stronger than cast wheels, while being able to hold the same weight. "Weld Wheel Industries Inc. are specialists in forged wheels," said Frost & Sullivan, an independent market consulting firm, in a recent 2006 analysis of the North American Wheels Aftermarket. "They are high-end wheel makers, and their main focus is on technology and quality."
The same Frost & Sullivan report identified American Racing as the largest wheel provider of performance aftermarket wheels in North America, noting that for the past 50 years, the company has "…maintained a strict adherence to quality, which is the cornerstone of the organization's strategic positioning." Mr. Swelgin said, "The combination of American Racing and Weld Wheels creates a powerful market leader with a fundamental commitment to providing the highest quality products and service to customers. The integration of American Racing and Weld will strengthen both businesses, expand our offerings to customers, and solidify our position as a leading provider of forged wheels to the automotive aftermarket and racing industries."
Mr. Swelgin confirmed that American Racing is committed to continuing operations in Kansas City, and working closely with Weld's employees, suppliers and companies to stabilize the business and integrate it seamlessly with American Racing. "We are making a significant investment in Weld because we believe in the company's products and its brand," Mr. Swelgin said. "We will take immediate steps to ensure the stability of Weld's operations, and then integrate the company seamlessly into the American Racing family. We're confident that customers and suppliers of both companies will benefit from this integration."
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