Trinity Hunt Partners Announces the Sale of America’s Auto Auction and Auction Credit Enterprises
Trinity Hunt Partners, a growth-oriented middle market private equity firm, today announced that it has sold its interests in America’s Auto Auction, Inc, (“AAA”), a premier provider of vehicle remarketing services, and Auction Credit Enterprises LLC (“ACE”), an affiliated company providing floor plan financing to independent auto dealers. AAA and ACE were acquired by XLerate Group (“XLerate”), a nationwide vehicle auction and remarketing company owned by affiliates of Brightstar Capital Partners (“Brightstar”). The transaction was completed on December 30, 2021. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Trinity Hunt and its affiliated co-investors acquired interests in AAA and ACE in March 2015. During its investment period, Trinity Hunt worked in partnership with the founders, Ben Lange and Dustin Miller, to transform AAA into the third largest remarketer of used automobiles through add-on acquisitions, greenfield developments, expanded services offerings, and the implementation of digital auction platforms complementing the company’s in-lane remarketing capabilities. AAA expanded from 11 to 23 auction locations and extended its geographical footprint from 7 to 15 states. These initiatives resulted in a doubling of unit volume and a 3-fold increase in EBITDA. Similarly, ACE grew its footprint from 5 to 14 markets served and enhanced the customer experience with the establishment of a dealer portal. These efforts led to a 3-fold increase in ACE’s loan portfolio and a 6-fold increase in earnings.
“We are grateful to have had the opportunity to partner with Ben and Dustin and the high-quality team they assembled to fulfill our collective vision of building AAA and ACE into leading players within their respective sectors,” said Dan Dross, Senior Partner at Trinity Hunt Partners. “Our efforts generated an excellent return for the shareholders, delivered an exceptional experience for customers, and promoted an attractive company culture for the employees. The scalable and strong foundation we established positions AAA and ACE for continued growth.”
Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP served as legal advisor and Harris Williams served as financial advisor to AAA and ACE. Kirkland & Ellis, LLC served as legal advisor and Jefferies LLC served as financial advisor to XLerate.
About America’s Auto Auction
America’s Auto Auction is a leading full-service vehicle auction services provider that facilitates the remarketing of vehicles. Based in Dallas, Texas, AAA facilitates the selling and buying of vehicles, primarily via 23 physical auction sites across 15 states. AAA also has a financing affiliate, Auction Credit Enterprises. For more information, please visit www.americasautoauction.com and www.auctioncredit.com.
About XLerate Group
XLerate Group is a leading full-service auction services provider that facilitates the remarketing of vehicles, delivering a critical liquidity function for the vehicle sales ecosystem. Based in Carmel, IN, XLerate facilitates the selling and buying of vehicles at physical auction sites across 13 states as well as on digital platforms. XLerate also has a financing affiliate, XL Funding. For more information, please visit https://www.xlerategroup.com.
About Brightstar Capital Partners
Brightstar Capital Partners is a private equity firm focused on partnering with exceptional families, founders, entrepreneurs and management teams where the firm is ideally positioned to drive value creation. Brightstar employs an operationally intensive approach that leverages its extensive experience and relationship network to help companies reach their full potential. For more information, please visit https://brightstarcp.com.