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SOURCE Hicks Equity Partners; Gemini Invesors; Monhegan Partners
Highly Respected Industry Veteran Bill Ihnken Named Chief Executive Officer
DALLAS, WELLESLEY, Mass. and ROWAYTON, Conn., Dec. 12, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Hicks Equity Partners, Gemini Investors and Monhegan Partners today announced that they have partnered with Bill Ihnken to acquire Just Brakes, a leading retail provider of automotive brake and maintenance services. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Founded in 1980 with one location in Bryan, Texas, Just Brakes now owns and operates more than 130 stores in eight states and fourteen major markets with approximately 950 employees nationwide.
It was also announced that Bill Ihnken has been named Chief Executive Officer of Just Brakes. Mr. Ihnken most recently served as President and Chief Operating Officer of TBC Corporation's company-owned store division, which includes more than 900 tire and automotive service centers.
Thomas O. Hicks, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Hicks Equity Partners, has been named Chairman of the Just Brakes Board of Directors. Mr. Hicks said, "We are pleased to partner with Gemini, Monhegan and Bill Ihnken to acquire Just Brakes. Just Brakes has a significant presence across the southern United States and is well-known for providing safe and dependable service. Our new ownership group is excited to pursue a range of attractive growth opportunities for the company under Bill's leadership."
James J. Goodman, President of Gemini Investors, said: "We are delighted to be part of a top-notch investor group that has come together to acquire a market-leading company and continue its expansion into the provision of other automotive aftermarket services. Just Brakes has an exciting future and we are pleased to participate in enhancing the business' value."
Peter B. Pfister, Managing Partner of Monhegan Partners, said: "Bill Ihnken is the ideal executive to lead Just Brakes. Bill has enjoyed a long and successful career in the automotive services industry and understands the complexities of managing and growing a large chain of stores dedicated to extraordinary customer service. He is a great leader and has the vision, energy and commitment to move Just Brakes forward."
Mr. Ihnken said, "Just Brakes is a well-recognized brand name operating in attractive markets that will serve as a wonderful platform for growth. Hicks Equity Partners, Gemini Investors and Monhegan Partners bring the strategic and financial resources needed to capitalize on its significant potential. I am excited to lead Just Brakes and to collaborate with our dedicated employees and vendors to execute our long-term strategic plans, which include investments in training, expanded car care services, improved facilities and strategic acquisitions.
Mr. Ihnken joined TBC Retail Group in 2000 as Senior Vice President of Operations, steadily progressing to ultimately become President and COO of the Retail Group's company-owned store division in April 2012. Prior to TBC, Mr. Ihnken held management positions with various retail automotive services companies, including Firestone Complete Auto Care and Sears Automotive.
About Hicks Equity Partners
Hicks Equity Partners (HEP) is the private equity arm for Hicks Holdings LLC, a holding company for the Thomas O. Hicks family's assets. With 35 years of private equity experience, Mr. Hicks pioneered the "buy and build" strategy of investing and founded Hicks Muse Tate & Furst, which raised more than $12 billion of private equity across six funds and completed over $50 billion of leveraged acquisitions. HEP looks for established companies with proven track records, strong free cash flow characteristics, a strong competitive industry position and an experienced management team looking to partner with long-term capital.
About Gemini Investors
Gemini Investors (Gemini) is a private equity firm headquartered in Wellesley, MA that focuses on providing growth capital to, and financing recapitalizations of, growing, established businesses in the lower middle market. Since the firm's founding in the mid-1990s, Gemini has invested in more than one hundred companies across a broad range of industries including consumer services, business services, technology, manufacturing and distribution. The firm is currently investing Gemini Investors V, L.P., which has $190 million of committed capital. Gemini seeks to invest in companies with strong growth prospects and experienced management teams with revenues between $10 and $100 million.
About Monhegan Partners
Monhegan Partners is a private equity investment firm founded in 2010 by an experienced team of investment and operating professionals who have worked together over an extended period to acquire and successfully build middle market manufacturing, distribution and service businesses. Monhegan targets family and entrepreneur-owned businesses that seek transaction liquidity and a transition away from day-to-day operating roles, but wish to remain invested with the company going forward for a meaningful "second bite of the apple."
Contact: Mark Semer
Kekst and Company
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