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Kingswood Takes Stake in Tire Firm

Brentwood-based Kingswood Capital Management LP has announced a partnership with the Irwindale-based Turbo Wholesale Tires that injects $600 million into the latter company’s operations.

Though Turbo Wholesale’s founder, Sarkis Sepetjian, and his family will retain significant ownership of the company, the deal is tied to a leadership shakeup, according to a Nov. 1 press release from Kingswood Capital. The firm said it has brought on veteran tire executives Philip Kane and Larry Jeffries to serve as Turbo Wholesale’s new chief executive officer and president, respectively.

The private investment firm declined to disclose the deal amount at the time of the announcement, though its filing with the SEC indicated a $600 million offering. Cerberus Business Finance provided the company with a new debt facility as part of the transaction, according to Kingswood.

Wolf

“We are thrilled to be partnering with Sarkis and the Sepetjian family, who have done an excellent job growing Turbo’s business over the last decade and building an impressive portfolio of brands, including the Company’s proprietary Lexani, Lionheart, and RBP owned brands,” said Michael Niegsch, partner of Kingswood, in a statement accompanying the announcement. “The investment of growth capital and the additions of Phillip Kane and Larry Jeffries to the Turbo management team position the Company well to pursue accelerated growth and offer customers additional products and services.”

Sepetjian, who founded Turbo Wholesale in 1983, will remain active with the company through his appointment to the company’s board of directors in October.

Kingswood’s Managing Partner Alex Wolf said the partnership with Turbo aligns with the investment firm’s investment strategy. “The Turbo transaction represents another example of Kingswood’s expertise in partnering with family and owner-operated businesses,” he said in the Nov. 1 announcement. “The success we and our partners have had in these situations is an important part of Kingswood’s strategy. We are excited about investing in and supporting Turbo’s continued growth and look forward to our partnership with Sarkis and the Sepetjian family.”

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