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The Wheel Group Announces the Appointment of Wade Kawasaki as Executive Chairman

ROSEMONT, Ill.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Wheel Group (“TWG”), a portfolio company of Wynnchurch Capital, L.P (“Wynnchurch”), announced today that current board member Wade Kawasaki has agreed to expand his role to Executive Chairman.

Prior to joining TWG, Mr. Kawasaki served as President and CEO of Legendary Companies, which grew under his leadership from Coker Tire into one of the largest collector car wheel/tire and restoration parts providers in the industry. Kawasaki has also served as SEMA’s Chairman of the Board, was selected as SEMA’s Person of the Year, and in 2014 was inducted into SEMA’s Hall of Fame.

Frank Hayes, Managing Partner at Wynnchurch and TWG Board Member, commented, “Wade has an impressive history of strong leadership in the wheel and tire industry. We are very pleased to bring his long track record of success with auto aftermarket acquisitions, import/export, supply chain management, sales and marketing to TWG.”

“Wade and I have a shared vision of growing our business through acquisition and product expansion as well as unlocking additional ways to leverage our tremendous design and distribution capabilities to drive additional value and an enhanced experience for our customers, vendors and employees,” said David Williams, CEO of TWG. “Since joining our board, Wade has impressed us with his industry expertise, acquisition experience and establishment of processes and systems on which to fuel growth. We are excited to partner with him as we continue to expand the Company’s product portfolio and customer base.”

Wade Kawasaki added, “The team at TWG has built an amazing company and family of brands and I am honored to work alongside CEO David Williams and his team. Together, we can take TWG to the next level and continue its growth trajectory in an evolving market.”

Neel Mayenkar, Partner at Wynnchurch, said, “We are thrilled to bring Wade onboard as Executive Chairman. We believe that his experience and leadership presents a unique, synergistic opportunity to The Wheel Group. We look forward to the significant opportunities that lie ahead.”

About The Wheel Group:

Founded in 1997 and based in Ontario, California, TWG is a leading designer and distributor of branded aftermarket wheels, specialty tires and related accessories serving the truck, SUV, and car markets. The Company sells to over 8,000 active customers including independent installers, national & regional retailers, e-commerce retailers, and wholesale distributors. For more information, please visit: https://www.thewheelgroup.com.

About Wynnchurch Capital:

Wynnchurch Capital, L.P., headquartered in the Chicago suburb of Rosemont, Illinois, with an office in New York and an affiliate in Canada, was founded in 1999, and is a leading middle-market private equity investment firm. Wynnchurch’s strategy is to partner with middle market companies in the United States and Canada that possess the potential for substantial growth and profit improvement. Wynnchurch Capital manages a number of private equity funds with $5.3 billion of regulatory assets under management and specializes in recapitalizations, growth capital, management buyouts, corporate carve-outs and restructurings. For more information, please visit: https://www.wynnchurch.com.

Contacts

Frank Hayes

Managing Partner

fhayes@wynnchurch.com
847-604-6100

Neel Mayenkar

Partner

nmayenkar@wynnchurch.com
847-604-6100

Mike Teplitsky

Partner

mteplitsky@wynnchurch.com
847-604-6100

Aron Beach

Managing Director

abeach@wynnchurch.com
847-604-6100

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