Strength In Numbers
Eight Companies Join Forces To Form Fenix Parts
What would cause eight industry-leading, successful, auto recycling companies to join together and form a new conglomerate? It is the love of auto recycling and the ability to enhance the experience for their customers.
“There is a trend right now of companies coming together to provide customers with greater product availability and enhanced capabilities,” explained David Gold, the new vice president of Fenix Parts, Inc. (Fenix). “Each of the founding companies saw this growing trend in the auto recycling industry and wanted to be a part of it.” Gold is the owner of one of the founding companies, Standard Auto Wreckers.
Fenix, founded in January 2014 and headquartered in Westchester, Ill., consists of eight founding companies which operate from 13 locations in Canada and the eastern United States. The companies included are Don’s Automotive Mall, Inc. in Binghamton, N.Y., Eiss Brothers Auto Parts in Watertown, N.Y., Gary’s U-Pull-It, Inc. in Binghamton, N.Y., GO Auto Recycling in Jacksonville, Fla., Horseheads Pick-A-Part in Elmira, N.Y., Jerry Brown’s Auto Parts Center, Ltd. in Queensbury, N.Y., Leesville Auto in Rahway, N.J., Standard Auto Wreckers, N.Y and Standard Auto Wreckers Canadian locations in Toronto, Ottawa, and Port Hope, Ontario. With the assets of all these companies, Fenix now has nine full-service facilities with 62 bays for dismantling vehicles and a combined 500,000 square-feet of warehouse space and 150 acres of land. Its four self-service locations have a combined 40,000 square-feet of indoor storage space and 50 acres.
Each of the companies received cash and / or stock from the deal. Fenix went public on May 14, 2015 on the Nasdaq Global Market. It initially offered 12 million shares of common stock at $8 a share and later added an additional 1.8 million shares at the same price.
The eight founding companies have a long history of working together and are friends in the industry, explained Gold. The owners and their employees held, and continue to hold, numerous leadership positions in the industry. There are two ARA past presidents among them, one future ARA president that was also a past Locator UpFront Most Influential Auto Recycler Overall, two Locator UpFront Boss of the Year winners, a FADRA director and more ARANY leadership position holders then can be named. It is an impressive group that Gold said all want to keep their businesses running as normal.
“We still want to continue doing what we’ve always done,” he explained. “It’s business as usual – but with more parts availability and enhanced distribution capabilities.”
The founding companies will each continue to run the normal day-to-day operations of their businesses. Other administrative functions, like strategy and acquisitions, human resources, accounting and marketing, will be managed by Fenix. The new company is being led by Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Kent Robertson and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Scott Pettit, along with a seasoned board of directors. Gold said the experienced management team gives the founding companies the opportunity to work with experts in operations and logistics.
Robertson, formerly of Stericycle, Inc., along with Pettit, spearheaded the process of establishing Fenix Parts as a new company from a legal, financial and organizational perspective, positioning it for the successful public offering in May. Robertson has more than 20 years of experience managing multi-line decentralized distribution and services businesses at Stericycle and at American Medical Disposal, Inc., a company he co-founded in 1990, which was acquired by Stericycle in 2001. Pettit has significant automotive industry, public company, acquisition and integration experience, including serving as the CFO of Insurance Auto Auctions, Inc. (IAA) from 2001 to 2007.
“These experts have allowed us to improve all of our systems and procedures as one company and one team,” said Gold.
Looking forward, the goal for Fenix is to continue to grow as a company while at the same time growing and enhancing the auto recycling industry.
“This group is unique,” added Gold. “It’s been a long time since this industry has come together. We all love the industry and love that we have the opportunity to provide greater product availability that will further improve our customers’ experience.”