In its ninth acquisition in 15 months, FleetPride is buying 13 Midway Truck Parts locations in Illinois and one in St. Louis, Mo. Midway Truck Parts was founded in 1978 by Pete Pasdach, president, and Rich Murawski, vice president.
Murawski will join FleetPride in his operational role. Pasdach will lead FleetPride’s Midwest Region in his new role as regional vice president – Midwest Region.
The Midway Trailer Sales & Service division is not part of this agreement and will continue to operate as a separate company.
A major issue, said Plaxton, is that companies such as FleetPride are increasingly negotiating exclusivity performance contracts with vendors. FleetPride could potentially become the exclusive supplier of some parts. This is not likely to matter for major fleets of 1,000 or more power units because they can leverage so much purchasing power. But there may be negative implications for small- to mid-size fleets and the independent distributors they buy from.
A more immediate concern with the acquisition of Midway is Vipar, the marketing group headquartered in Crystal Lake, Ill. However, Steve Crowley, president and CEO of Vipar, said Midway was one of 118 buyers at Vipar, comprising only around 3 percent of business.
Moving forward, there is a strong possibility of more large acquisitions. Many dealers and distributors with depleted balance sheets from the recession are looking for an exit strategy.