Auto World, Johnny Lightning owner partners with
investment firm to expand product lines …
By Mark Savage
Round 2, one of die-cast car collecting and plastic car modeling’s big dogs, made it official today. It has partnered with an investment group that should help it to expand its product lines.
The announcement from Round2’s headquarters in South Bend, Ind., said it is partnering with Praesidian Capital, a private investment group based in Larchmont, N.Y. Praesidian has purchased controlling interest, 51%, of Round2.
Those of us interested in die-cast cars and plastic car models, or HO slot cars, knows all about Round2, founded by Thomas Lowe, who earlier founded Playing Mantis to revive the Johnny Lightning brand, among others.
I regularly review products from Round2’s Auto World, American Muscle, Johnny Lightning and Racing Champions brands. In fact, a review of AW’s new 1977 Dodge Warlock was just posted today.
Die-cast: Auto World 1977 Dodge Warlock | Savage On Wheels
Lowe, who remains as president of the firm, said he’s thrilled by the deal because of the resources Praesidian brings with it to help it grow “both organically and through acquisitions.” He added that there are no staff changes and Round2 will remain in South Bend.
Jason Drattell, Praesidian’s founder, made similar statements, praising Lowe and noting Round2 “has emerged as a market leader in the collectibles space and we look forward to supporting the management team as Round 2 continues to expand its product offerings.”
Glenn Harrison, Praesidian Capital partner, added that “product design and innovation will always be at the core of Round2’s growth strategy, but we also believe that there is a significant
consolidation opportunity within the highly fragmented collectibles space. We will be working closely with the Round 2 team to continue to build on its already impressive list of brands.”
In addition to Johnny Lightning and the other brands mentioned above, Round2 also includes Polar Lights, AMT, MPC, Lindberg and Hawk model kits, including a Star Wars license. Auto World also markets HO slot cars and parts along with die-cast vehicles. Other miniature car brands include Legends of the Quarter Mile, Ertl Collectibles, Vintage Fuel. Forever Fun is a seasonal products brand also a part of Round2.
For more details on all the product lines produced by Round 2, see: http://www.round2corp.com