Finance and insurance provider and administrator APCO Holdings on Jan. 3 bought competitor National Auto Care, creating one of the industry's largest providers.
Tony Wanderon, 60, who led National Auto Care as CEO, replaced Scot Eisenfelder as CEO of APCO Holdings. Eisenfelder left APCO, the company said.
Leadership from both companies would not disclose the purchase price, but Wanderon told Automotive News combined revenue for the companies is close to $300 million.
Wanderon said he and APCO President John Lee had been discussing ways to merge their companies, "and finally, we had the opportunity this past year to be able to put that in play and close today."
"We're going to be one of the top two or three providers in the country at the size and scale that we are today," Wanderon added. "Our focus is really going to be driven around adding dealer profitability and adding value to our relationships in the marketplace and investing heavily as we need to really be much more efficient as we move forward and invest in technology with what we're all having to deal with every day."
The combined APCO and National Auto Care company has about 800 employees and regularly services more than 2,000 franchised dealerships in the United States, Wanderon estimated. Finbarr O'Neill, executive chairman of APCO Holdings, said the company had about 450 employees at the time of the merger. O'Neill started working with APCO's board in 2017 and became chairman in 2019. He said APCO was actively looking to acquire since May 2021.
The acquisition "completes our national footprint, broadens our product offerings, brings us an additional executive management talent that will help us serve our dealers better and continue our growth," O'Neill told Automotive News.
One area of possible growth for Norcross, Ga.-based APCO will be the West Coast, such as California, Arizona and Utah, said Wanderon, noting there was not a lot of overlap between the two companies' geographic footprints.
"There is no state where we're looking at and saying, 'You know we have overcapacity' or 'We don't want to grow that market anymore,' " he said.
Another growth opportunity will be providing more insurance products designed specifically for electric vehicles, Wanderon said.
National Auto Care, of Westerville, Ohio, and Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., provides finance and insurance products, administration, consulting services, training and marketing support. Its customers include automotive, RV and powersports dealers, credit unions and financial institutions. The company, founded in 1984, has been expanding its business through organic growth and strategic acquisitions. Since 2020, it has completed 21 acquisitions, bringing in new product lines, new regions and service offerings, according to Lovell Minnick, a private equity firm that worked on the deal.
"M&A has been a big piece of our growth," Wanderon said.
APCO, founded in 1984, is a provider and administrator of finance and insurance products. The company markets its products using its EasyCare, GWC Warranty and MemberCare brand names, along with other private labels. The addition of National Auto Care adds a new powersports segment to APCO.
APCO continues to be in a growth mode. Said O'Neill: "We continue to look for M&A opportunities."