Pep Boys buys Just Brakes store chain, plans more deals

Pep Boys, the Philadelphia-based auto-parts and repair store chain purchased for $1 billion last winter by investor Carl Icahn, says it has acquired the 27-year-old Just Brakes store chain, and its 134 stores in Dallas, Atlanta, and 12 other metro markets, for an undisclosed price.

Just Brakes stores will be converted into Pep Boys Service & Tire Centers, Pep Boys chief executive Brent Windom said in a statement.  The addition will boost Pep Boys' store count above 900. The companies have few overlapping markets. -- Sellers are  the private-equity firms that own Just Brakes: Hicks Equity Partners, Gemini Investors, Monhegan Partners.

Windom added that Bill Ihnken, former CEO of Just Brakes, will take over as Pep Boys' "President of Service." Pep Boys is run by a team recruited mostly from Icahn's other auto parts store chain, Kennesaw, Ga.-based Auto Plus. Icahn also controls Federal-Mogul, an auto parts maker and major Pep Boys supplier.

In addition to the Just Brakes deal, "in the coming year, we look forward to continuing to increase our network of stores and service bays across the country," Windom concluded.