Ohio auto supplier buying Trico

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(Trico Products Corp. photo)

CLEVELAND (Aug. 1, 2014) — Crowne Group L.L.C., a Cleveland-based auto industry supplier, has agreed to buy Trico Products Corp., maker of Trico-brand windshield wipers and components, for an undisclosed amount.  

Crowne officials said Trico will retain its current management team, including CEO and President Lou Braga, as well as keep its headquarters in Rochester Hills, Mich.

The transaction, which will be consummated with funds managed by private equity firm Kohlberg & Co. L.L.C., which has owned Trico since 2007, is subject to customary regulatory approvals. The deal is expected to close within a few months.

Crowne manufactures and distributes both aftermarket and OE components for the automotive and other industrial equipment markets. Among its products are carbon and stainless-steel tube components and fabricated products for exhaust systems, gas springs, fuel system components and injection molded plastic parts.

Kohlberg paid $111 million for Trico seven years ago. At that time, Trico’s sales were put at $358 million, with eight factories in seven countries. Trico employs about 2,450 at units in the U.S., Mexico, Asia, Europe, Australia and South America, Crowne said.

“Trico represents an excellent strategic fit for Crowne due to its balanced mix of business between aftermarket and OEM, potential for manufacturing and distribution synergies, a great infrastructure and management team,” said Stephen Graham, Crowne’s chief financial officer.

“We are excited to enter into a new phase of our own evolution, and we look forward to working with our new partners as we continue to successfully execute our strategy.”

Evan Wildstein, partner at Kohlberg, said the firm believes Trico “has a bright future. We are confident that the company will continue on its trajectory of success under Crowne Group’s ownership.”

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