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Advance Auto to Buy General Parts for Top America Ranking

Advance Auto Parts Inc. agreed to buy closely held General Parts International Inc., adding the Carquest chain and entering Canada to become the biggest retailer of car components in North America.

The all-cash acquisition, with an enterprise value of $2.04 billion, will result in annual savings and revenue improvements of $160 million within three years after completion, Roanoke, Virginia-based Advance Auto Parts said today in a statement. The companies plan to close the deal by early 2014, it said.

The takeover, which was agreed to by both companies’ boards, “creates the largest automotive aftermarket parts provider in North America, with combined sales of over $9.2 billion,” Advance Auto said. That will include becoming the top-ranked business-to-business spare-parts online sales platform in the region, it said.

Advance Auto hired Blackstone Group LP about a year ago to evaluate strategic options, a person with knowledge of the matter said at the time. The retailer bought Armonk, New York-based BWP Distributors Inc. in December, without disclosing a price, to add sites in New England and in the Mid-Atlantic area of the U.S.

Blackstone and JPMorgan Chase & Co. were financial advisers to Advance Auto on the General Parts agreement, and Kirkland & Ellis were legal advisers, the retailer said today. Advisers to Raleigh, North Carolina-based General Parts were Wells Fargo & Co. and the Orr Group for the financial terms and Manning Fulton & Skinner PA and Smith, Anderson, Blount, Dorsett, Mitchell & Jernigan for the legal portion.

The purchase will include General Parts’ Worldpac import and distribution network in addition to Carquest, which has 1,246 company-operated stores and 1,418 independently owned outlets, the company said.

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