Advance Auto Parts (AAP) said Monday it has purchased the “iconic American brand” of DieHard car batteries in a $200 million cash deal that ends the more than 50-year ownership run by department store Sears.
The brand was sold by Transform Holdco, the company that operates Sears, whose footprint in North America has been shrinking in recent years in the face of declining sales and changing consumer tastes. Sears emerged from bankruptcy protection earlier this year after filing in 2018.
Advance Auto said Transformco under a supply agreement will be able to continue selling DieHard batteries through its sales channels. Transformco also has a royalty-free, perpetual license to develop, market, and sell DieHard branded products in categories outside of the automotive space.
“DieHard will help differentiate Advance, drive increased DIY customer traffic and build a unique value proposition for our professional customers and independent Carquest partners,” said Advance Auto Parts Chief Executive Tom Greco in a statement. “DieHard stands for durability and reliability and we will strengthen and leverage the brand in other battery categories, such as marine and recreational vehicles.”
It will also explore expanding the brand in other automotive categories, he said. Advance Auto Parts’ shares firmed 1% in Monday afternoon trading.
Sears in 2017 marked 50 years since the company launched the DieHard brand, under which it also sold tires, jumper cables, battery chargers and ran DieHard auto centers.
“Advance Auto Parts’ acquisition of this iconic American brand will complement our plans to introduce new DieHard products in non-automotive categories such as sporting goods, lawn and garden, authentic work wear and other exciting new categories,” said Peter Boutros, president of Transformco’s DieHard, Kenmore and Craftsman business unit, in a statement.