October 16, 2013, 10:17 AM

Advance Auto acquires parent of Carquest retail chain

Advance Auto says the deal offers business-to-business opportunities.

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Advance Auto Parts Inc. wants a bigger share of the North American automotive parts and accessories market and is paying a premium price to get it.

Advance Auto, No. 400 in the 2013 Internet Retailer Top 500, is spending $2.04 billion in an all-cash deal to purchase General Parts International Inc., which operates Carquest.com and a chain of about 2,700 company-owned and franchised vehicle parts stores.

The deal, which has been approved by both boards of directors, will create a single vehicle parts replacement and accessories retailing company with combined annual sales of $9.2 billion and a network of about 7,000 stores, Advance Auto says. Advance Auto CEO Darren Jackson will oversee the combined operation and O. Temple Sloan will continue to serve as president of General Parts International and report to Jackson.

“This transformational transaction provides a compelling strategic opportunity for Advance to expand our geographic presence and commercial capabilities,” Jackson says.

Advance Auto also says the deal will present significant opportunities to grow e-commerce, particularly business-to-business e-commerce, but didn’t provide any details. “The acquisition of GPII will accelerate Advance’s growth strategy and create the largest automotive aftermarket business-to-business e-commerce platform in North America,” the company says.

Advance Auto, which generated Internet Retailer-estimated e-commerce sales of about $30 million in 2012, relaunched its own e-commerce site in 2009 after ending a joint online retailing venture with CSK Auto and O`Reilly Automotive Inc. In recent years Advance Auto opened an e-commerce operations center in Silicon Valley in California to bolster its web capabilities.

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