Polaris inks $665M deal to buy Transamerican

Many in the off-road community will remember the shock waves that shot across the web when word broke that manufacturing leviathan Transamerican Auto Parts was purchasing Poison Spyder Customs. A similar reaction occurred Wednesday, with the announcement that Polaris, maker of a range of ATVs, side-by-sides, snowmobiles and corporate parent to the Victory and Indian motorcycle brands was, itself, gobbling up Transamerican for a stunning $665 million.

In addition to Poison Spyder, Transamerican owns well known aftermarket brands including Rubicon Express, Pro Comp, Smittybilt, G2, LRG and Trail Master. Additionally, it is the largest North American retailer and installer, selling its goods through its own retail 4 Wheel Parts store network as well as many recognizable third-party vendors. In the last rolling 12-month period, Transamerican boasted sales approaching $740 million and saw year-over-year sales growth of 15 percent, the company said.

The privately owned Minnesota company sees tremendous growth potential in the already impressive $10 billion-per-year Jeep and off-road accessory market, making its acquisition of Transamerican a logical move, the company said Wednesday in a news release.

“We are excited to add (Transamerican’s) market-leading multi-channel business, proprietary brands, proven management team and experienced employees to the Polaris portfolio,” Polaris Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Scott W. Wine said in the release.  “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.”

The transaction is subject to regulatory approval, and is expected to close by Dec. 31. Following the closing, Transamerican will operate as a distinct business unit reporting to Steve Eastman, Polaris’ PG&A President. Polaris expects to fund the acquisition with borrowings under existing credit facilities.

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