General Parts Inc., one of the largest automotive wholesale distributors in the U.S., launched a credit tenant lease via Wachovia Securities last week, sources said.

The Raleigh, N.C.-based company is seeking $40 million in a 20-year final/12-year average maturity, according to sources. Price talk was heard in the 200 basis point area over Treasurys.

General Parts has taken a few capital raising transactions to the private market in the past. Last October, it executed a $250 million private placement via Banc of America Securities.

General Parts, an NAIC-2 type issuer, also issued two credit tenant leases last year, for $59 million and $46 million, sources added.

The company distributes replacement automotive parts, supplies and tools for foreign and domestic cars, trucks and farm and industrial vehicles. It is also the largest member of the Carquest network, an auto-parts distribution group owned by five member warehouse distributors, the largest of which is General Parts.

General Parts distributes its products to 4,000 Carquest and other auto parts stores across North America through 41 distribution centers.

The company has been growing steadily through acquisitions of several independent distributors. In 1999, it completed the acquisition of Carquest Canada, which has 250 stores in eastern Canada, after acquiring Acktion's 50% interest. Later that year, General Parts also acquired St. Louis-based distributor A.E. Lottes Co.

In March 2003, the company acquired Bakersfield, Calif.-based Auto Parts Wholesale. Last year, it acquired Hutchins Automotive Supply, a distributor in Niagara Falls, N.Y.

Then in February 2004, General Parts merged with Automotive Communications Link, a software and service provider of business management software directed to the professional automotive repair trade. And in 2005, General Parts acquired San Antonio, Texas-based auto parts distributor Straus-Frank Co.

Copyright 2005 Thomson Media Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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