'This is giving us the muscle to expand:' Jilly's Car Wash four locations sell to private firm for $19 million

·1 min read
Jilly's Car Wash plans to open a new location in Mequon in March 2023.
Jilly's Car Wash plans to open a new location in Mequon in March 2023.

A Birmingham-based private equity firm is taking an ownership position in Milwaukee-based Jilly's Car Wash to propel the company's expansion throughout Southeastern Wisconsin.

TRP Capital Partners bought Jilly's and its four Milwaukee-area locations. After the purchase, an Orlando-based real estate investment trust, National Retail Properties Inc., purchased the four locations for $19 million, according to state records.

The firm also acquired the fifth location in Mequon, which is expected to begin construction in September with an estimated debut in March 2023. 

"This is giving us the muscle to expand throughout the Milwaukee area," said Jon Zimmerman, co-founder of Jilly's.

"We're hoping to easily double our size in this area in the very near future," he added.

Jilly's settled on TRP because the firm agreed to let them have local control of the expansion of the brand across the region, Zimmerman said.

"We saw the car wash market is booming, and we were concerned that as a private business that we might miss out on a much bigger opportunity, so we went looking for a partner to help us achieve this goal," he explained.

The equity firm also took an ownership position in the Michigan-based Jax Kar Wash's nine operating locations last year to grow the company's expansion through new construction and other acquisitions. Jax now has 25 locations throughout Michigan, according to a news release.

Jilly's started in 2010 when Zimmeran and his wife, Jill, who the car wash was named after, bought an existing car wash in Elm Grove. They have locations in Elm Grove, Pewaukee, Brookfield and Glendale.

Contact Alex Groth at agroth@gannett.com. Follow her on Twitter at @grothalexandria. 

Our subscribers make this reporting possible. Please consider supporting local journalism by subscribing to the Journal Sentinel at jsonline.com/deal.

DOWNLOAD THE APP: Get the latest news, sports and more

This article originally appeared on Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Jilly's Car Wash sells to private equity firm TRP Capital Partners