Marubeni Acquires Aftermarket Distributor Prime Automotive Warehouse

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Marubeni America Corporation,, along with Marubeni Corporation of Japan and Marubeni Automotive (collectively "Marubeni"), have acquired the Olive Branch, Mississippi based Prime Automotive Warehouse ("Prime") for an undisclosed amount. Prime,, established in 1982, is an industry leader in the distribution of aftermarket auto parts, chemicals, and tools to its large reseller customer base. Prime mainly markets its products through a monthly catalog.

    Marubeni recognized several growing trends in the US aftermarket, including the steady demand for parts and chemicals that keep older vehicles running. According to the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA), the automotive aftermarket market has grown from $138 billion in 1997 to over $204 billion in 2006.

The market for automotive aftermarket parts is competitive and highly fragmented. The transaction will allow Prime to combine its sourcing and mail order expertise with Marubeni's domestic and international networks. As part of its growth strategy, Prime will consider acquisitions in its current industry as well as new markets that will allow it to further expand its product line.

Steve Friedman will continue as President of Prime and there will be no changes to operating management. Prime will be managed within Marubeni America Corporation's Transportation. Industrial Machinery, and IT business unit. This unit also manages Marubeni's auto leasing operation, Advantage Funding, and dealership network, Drivepoint.

About Marubeni

Marubeni Corporation was established in 1858, and is a core company of Marubeni Group, one of Japan's leading general trading houses. Operations encompass domestic import, export and offshore trade. Activities range from the development of natural resources to the retailed marketing of finished products. The Marubeni Group focuses on creating "value chain" from upstream to downstream, encompassing a wide variety of business fields, including oil & gas, automotive, metals, mineral resources, foods, pulp & paper and chemicals, among others.

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Patrick Gilligan
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