Roanoke-based Advance Auto Parts just got a lot bigger, announcing Wednesday morning it had become the largest after-market parts company in North America with the acquisition of General Parts International, which owns Carquest Auto Parts and Worldpac brands.
Advance will remain headquartered in Roanoke, where it has 1,600 employees and has put $10 million into its campus on Airport Road.
"For Roanoke this is nothing but great news," said Advance Auto Parts President George Sherman. "I think your hometown company just got bigger and just took a leadership position. We continue to be based here. That means we have more contractors, visitors, and vendors coming into Roanoke. And that means a lot for the airport, and rental cars, and hotels, and restaurants, and has a pretty good cascading effect across the Roanoke Valley."
No word yet on how many employees, if any, might be added to the Roanoke payroll.
Consumers won't see much difference at Advance stores, at least night right away. Sherman says some stores may be combined with Carquest stores down the road, but there are still too many considerations to know when or where.
In fact, Sherman says the deal won't even be complete until late 2013 or early 2014.
"It's going to take a while," he said. "This transition will take the better part of three years. So to complete it and take it through, it's going to be a fairly long process."
But he says the company should be able to offer more to its customers.
"Product lines: we are thrilled about that because collectively we've got the largest assortment in the industry," he said. "That's one of the great synergies of the companies coming together."
Although Advance will stay in Roanoke, General Parts International leaders will remain in Raleigh, N.C., with its president, O. Temple Sloan III, reporting to Advance's CEO Darren Jackson.
Advance Auto Parts announced Wednesday it has acquired General Parts International, Inc., a leading privately-held distributor and supplier of original equipment and aftermarket replacement products for commercial markets operating under the CARQUEST and WORLDPAC brands, according to a news release.
Advance Auto Parts Inc. is a provider of automotive aftermarket parts, accessories, batteries, and maintenance items.
The company states the all-cash transaction is valued at $2.04 billion. The transaction has been approved by the boards of directors of both companies.
Advance Auto Parts President George Sherman will answer questions about the acquisition Wednesday at 11 a.m.