09/24/13 — AP Exhaust acquires firm

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AP Exhaust acquires firm

By Steve Herring
Published in News on September 24, 2013 1:46 PM

AP Exhaust Technologies officials have announced that the company has purchased certain assets of International Muffler Co.

It is the second company that AP Exhaust, a leader in replacement exhaust and emissions products, has acquired over the past two years.

"It is no question it will create some opportunities for some more jobs here at AP," said Gary Nix, the company's director of marketing and product design. "To what extent, I don't know where they will be within the organization. I am not sure, but any time you bring on sizable activity like this, it is going to be an uptick in production at AP."

The move is a continuation of the company's search for opportunities to grow, Nix said.

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

AP Exhaust has approximately 330 employees at its Dixie Trail campus that has close to 800,000 square feet under roof.

Nix said he isn't sure if any IMCO employees would be moving to Goldsboro.

"We haven't gotten that far yet," Nix said. "Certainly we have a lot capacity here. In fact, the company has been advertising a job fair."

In December 2011, AP Exhaust bought the assets of Georgia-based ANSA Automotive Parts Distributors and folded them into its Goldsboro operation.

ANSA manufactures original equipment replacement direct fit exhaust systems for import vehicles under the ANSA brand and diesel light truck performance exhaust systems under the Silverline brand.

Based in Loudon, Tenn., International Muffler is a manufacturer of replacement exhaust and emissions products marketed most notably under the IMCO, Maremont and Cherry Bomb brands.

"We did not assume any of the operational aspects of this company that we are acquiring," Nix said. "We bought assets of that company so they have already made the announcement that they are going to close that facility in time.

"The time table isn't specific yet. Then we will take all of that production volume here into our organization at AP."

Nix said he is not sure when that will happen.

International Muffler produces exactly the same products already being produced at AP Exhaust -- automotive replacement exhaust, performance products and catalytic converters, he said.

"This is a major competitor in our industry," Nix said. "They have a long legacy in the automobile aftermarket. They have some brands that are very well known in the market.

"It is a situation, I guess, where the market continues to evolve and as it is evolving it has presented opportunities for us to buy some competitors. That is what we have done with the previous acquisition and with this particular one."

AP Exhaust enjoys a dominate market share in this segment of the automotive aftermarket, Nix said.

The company continues to grow and is continuing to look for opportunities to add on, he said.

"We have a tremendous amount of manufacturing capability here, and capacity as well," he said. "Those two things provide us with the opportunity to look at companies like this where we can do that acquisition and then bring that production into our environment here without having to add basically brick and mortar here.

"We have capacity and we have very efficient manufacturing facilities and a very efficient workforce here that can take on that additional business. That is definitely a real advantage that we have here. When we find opportunities like this we will look for those."

"It is really exciting for us," he said. "It does a lot relative to our position in this industry. We are recognized as a leader in the market. This further strengthens that position and it does a few things. It expands our distribution to new customers in the markets. It brings some new brands which we will utilize in the market in particular areas. It is good for AP and it is good for Goldsboro for sure. I think it is really a great thing for the community to have a very solid manufacturing company here in their back yard."

"This is a big deal," said Mike Haney, Wayne County Development Alliance existing industry specialist. "AP Exhaust Technologies is an outstanding corporate citizen, and we are honored by their presence in Wayne County.

"The International Muffler acquisition is a testament of their commitment to their industry and their work force."

Founded in 1927, AP Exhaust manufactures a complete line of original equipment replacement and performance exhaust and emissions products for automotive, light truck, heavy-duty, agricultural, and industrial markets. AP Exhaust's product offering includes high quality mufflers, exhaust pipes, catalytic converters, performance exhaust and related accessories.