Huron Capital, a Detroit-based lower-middle-market private equity firm, has announced its nationwide auction and remarketing platform, XLerate Group in Indiana, has acquired Columbus Fair Auto Auction in Ohio.
Columbus Fair was founded by Bill Jacobs in 1958. His daughter, Alexis Jacobs, has operated the business since 1982. Its operations include 11 auction lanes, a full-service, on-site body shop facility, a complete mechanical shop, a reconditioning center, on-site transportation services, and more.
“Alexis has run the operation for over 30 years, earning esteem as an iconic independent auto auction with an impeccable reputation and consistently superior customer service,” says Cam Hitchcock, CEO of XLerate. “These attributes are a great fit with XLerate’s operating philosophy and track record of acquiring auto auctions with strong brand equity. We are honored that Alexis and Greg Levi have entrusted us to carry forward the Jacobs’ legacy at CFAA.”
Columbus Fair also features financial institution, fleet/lease, and dealer consignment sales each Wednesday.
“This acquisition bolsters XLerate’s presence in the critical Midwestern market and our capabilities to service large fleet/lease and financial institution customers,” Hitchcock says. “We are excited that Greg Levi and his team will join XLerate’s highly talented management group. XLerate’s team will benefit from Greg’s deep experience in customer compliance and digitally enabled sales platforms.”
The acquisition is XLerate’s sixth Midwestern location. It has 21 across the country.
“Joining the XLerate Group is the right choice for CFAA’s customers and employees. We identified a cultural match that felt comfortable for both our employees and our customers,” says Jacobs, principal owner of Columbus Fair. “The support and resources that XLerate offers to its auction family were key factors in my decision to sell to XLerate. My auction family is excited to join a high-quality, high-integrity group of operators that share our commitment to providing a superior customer experience and strong commitment to the communities where they operate.”
Huron Capital formed XLerate in 2014 to pursue a buy-and-build strategy in the auction industry. With the most recent addition, XLerate will operate under 15 auction brands with fixed auction sites in California, Georgia, Ohio, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, and Wisconsin.
Over the past two decades, Huron Capital has established six investment funds totaling about $1.8 billion in capital and has completed more than 175 transactions throughout North America. Its portfolio companies have had aggregate annual revenues exceeding $3 billion, 15,000 employees, and operated more than 325 facilities.