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Automotive Performance Plans Spinoff of Boyds Wheels

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TIMES STAFF WRITER

Automotive Performance Group Inc. of Garden Grove said Wednesday that it plans to spin off several of its smaller assets to its shareholders, including Boyds Wheels Inc., the custom wheel maker that it rescued from bankruptcy earlier this year.

The move is part of a major restructuring at APG, which has acquired 22% of PBT Brands Inc., a new company formed to acquire the Permatex operations of Locite Corp. Permatex makes chemical products for the automotive maintenance and repair markets.

The purchase of an interest in PBT gives APG “a major presence in the $3-billion North American market for automotive aftermarket chemicals,” said Dean M. Willard, APG’s board chairman and chief executive. “Permatex is an excellent trademark in the marketplace and its management team is highly respected as well.”

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APG purchased an 80% stake in Boyds in April, then moved the company from Stanton to Tempe, Ariz. The company specializes in making custom auto and motorcycle wheels, steering wheels, motorcycle customizing parts and auto care products.

Boyds currently has only one employee--President Jack Daly--who was Boyds former national sales director. Boyds is rebuilding itself and is in the start-up phase. It still is a public company, but is not active, APG officials said.

“The plan is for it to grow,” said Len Bogner, an APG spokesman. “We just got it out of bankruptcy.”

Boyds filed for a Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization in January 1998. Its reorganization plan was approved a year later. APG agreed to pump $2 million into resurrecting Boyds and paid nearly $1 million in administrative costs related to the bankruptcy. APG gained control of Boyds, but also of its car design and construction subsidiary, Hot Rods by Boyds.

Founder Boyd Coddington, a famed hot-rod builder, nurtured Boyds from a backyard hobby to a $20-million-a-year business. But the company was pushed to the brink of financial collapse under his leadership and he was pushed out of the company by creditors before the bankruptcy was filed.

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