Sports Business Journal

Patricof Co Closes Investment in Truck Hero

Patricof Co, an investment firm used by athletes to access private equity deals, has closed an investment in Truck Hero, the nation’s top seller of aftermarket parts and accessories for trucks and Jeeps. Patricof Co’s investment was part of a consortium led by private equity firm L Catterton, and more than 30 of Patricof’s athlete clients were investors in the deal, including Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow, Brooklyn Nets forward Blake Griffin, Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers and New York Knicks guard Kemba Walker.

“You’ve got great financial metrics, you’ve got a great lead investor [L Catterton], you’ve got owned IP and you’ve got a consumer play that hasn’t been fully exploited yet,” said Mark Patricof of what made Michigan-based Truck Hero an appealing opportunity. “Add that all together, and it’s a really compelling deal. It’s a $17 billion market just for functional aftermarket accessories, so it’s a big market and they’re the leader.” Patricof, the founder and CEO, also noted that the vast majority of his investment firm’s clients are truck owners.

Mark Patricof’s firm has now closed 14 private equity deals since it launched in 2018.

Patricof Co launched in 2018 with a simple thesis: gather a client list of wealthy athletes and pool their resources to take stakes in ongoing private equity deals. Lead investors benefit by bringing on Patricof’s team of high-profile celebrities, and athlete investors in turn get access to developed private markets that would otherwise be unavailable. Patricof wouldn’t comment specifically on the value of the Truck Hero deal, but he said Patricof Co won’t write a check smaller than $10 million for any private equity deal it enters.

The investment firm has now amassed a client base of 147 athletes and has four full-time staffers managing athlete services. In addition to sourcing private equity deals, the company reviews its client athletes’ inbound investment opportunities.

The Truck Hero deal marks the 14th private equity investment closed by Patricof Co, and the fifth this year. It’s the third time the firm has co-invested alongside L Catterton, and it has also twice joined deals led by Providence Equity Partners for stakes in Topgolf and Sweetwater. “It reflects that they think we’re a really good co-investor,” said Patricof. “We add real value.” Patricof clients have helped market portfolio companies, including Dwyane Wade working with Cholula and Griffin with Goldin Auctions.

The investment firm has also closed its first real estate investment, a condo tower in Jupiter Island, Fla., and has been actively reviewing opportunities to take a stake in a pro sports team. Patricof Co had eyed a small position within a bid for the New York Mets before the team was ultimately sold to Steve Cohen for $2.4 billion late last year.

Thus far Patricof Co has exited two PE positions and collected significant returns for its athlete investors. According to Patricof, the company doubled its investment when The RealReal, a luxury consignment company, went public in June 2019 at a $1.65 billion valuation, and it tripled its money on an 18-month hold when Cholula was acquired by McCormick & Co. for $800 million last November. “There’s more velocity to the business,” said Patricof, who noted that minority partner J.P. Morgan Private Equity Group also recently injected additional capital. “Right now, it’s all going well. And I say that because in this world you never know, but today it’s all great.”

 

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