Baird Capital Partners Invests In American Auto Auction Group

Forms Acquisition Platform and Acquires Two Separate Auction Businesses

CHARLESTON, S.C., January 20, 2010
 
Baird Capital Partners (BCP), the U.S.-based buyout fund of Baird Private Equity, announced today it has established American Auto Auction Group, LLC (AAAG) in partnership with experienced industry veterans to execute an acquisition platform strategy in the whole car auction market. BCP plans to invest significant equity capital to support the acquisition platform.

Concurrent with the establishment of the holding company, AAAG acquired two separate auction businesses, Charleston Auto Auction (Moncks Corner, S.C.) and Rea Brothers Mid-South Auto Auction (Pearl, Miss.). Auto auctions create a transaction marketplace for finance companies, fleets, wholesalers, independent dealers, and franchise dealers to sell and purchase vehicles. AAAG will focus on acquiring independent auction facilities in order to create a nationwide auto auction platform.

“We are excited about the opportunities in the fragmented auction market, and thrilled to be partnering with such a talented management team,” said Randy Mehl, BCP Partner. “This investment represents another example of our strategy of partnering with executives in attractive sectors where there are operating inefficiencies, and where our network of resources can build market leaders.”

“This is an excellent time to pursue this strategy, and I am excited about partnering with BCP to execute on it,” stated CEO Steve Simon, an industry veteran of 18 years. “Our orientation has always been, and will continue to be, a focus and commitment to outstanding customer service. This approach, combined with Baird’s financial and operational support sets the stage for an exciting growth trajectory.”

Joining the AAAG Board of Directors are Mehl and BCP Operating Partner A.J. Wasserstein, an experienced executive who will serve as Chairman of the Board. Wasserstein is the founder and former President and CEO of ArchivesOne, a pan-regional records management business which he grew to become the third largest provider of records management in the United States through an acquisition strategy which included over thirty acquisitions.

“We look forward to helping the AAAG team scale the business and become the service provider of choice for their clients,” said Wasserstein. “We have a number of attractive businesses in the pipeline, and we believe the combination of these assets and the AAAG management team’s track record of success will allow us to create a market leader in North America.”

About Baird Capital Partners
Baird Capital Partners, the U.S.-based buyout fund of Baird Private Equity, invests in lower middle-market companies in the business services, manufactured products and healthcare sectors. Established in 1989, Baird Capital Partners leverages its deep sector knowledge, experienced investment team and extensive operating resources to drive value in its portfolio companies. Baird Capital Partners is supported by operating resources in China (Beijing, Hong Kong, and Shanghai) and India (Bangalore), focused on facilitating and executing Asia sourcing, manufacturing and distribution strategies for Baird Capital Partners’ portfolio companies. For more information, please visit www.bairdcapitalpartners.com.

About American Auto Auction Group
Based in Charleston, S.C., American Auto Auction Group is an auto auction business formed by experienced industry veterans to execute a buy-and-build strategy in the whole car auto auction market. The Company acquires independent auction facilities with the ultimate goal of creating a nationwide auto auction platform that provides a viable alternative for vehicle sellers requiring multi-regional sales coverage. AAAG can be contacted at 843-579-AUTO.

For additional information contact:
 
Randall A Mehl
BCP Partner
414-765-3818

Angela Pittman Taylor
Baird Public Relations
414-298-1902