By Mike McNulty, Crain News Service
CLEVELAND (Aug. 27, 2014) — Crowne Group L.L.C. plans to purchase Trico Products Corp. from funds managed by equity firm Kohlberg & Co. L.L.C. to expand its automotive components operation.
The companies signed a definitive agreement on the purchase July 30 but did not release terms of the transaction.
Based in Rochester Hills, Mich., Trico is one of the world’s largest manufacturers, marketers and distributors of rubber windshield wiper blades, systems and components. It has a strong base in both the original equipment and aftermarket sectors.
Crowne is a major player in both the OEM and aftermarket sectors. It offers fuel pumps and gas springs to the aftermarket segment and numerous products to OE customers, according to Stephen Graham, the company’s chief financial officer.
Once the acquisition is finalized, Trico will continue to operate out of its headquarters and the current management team—led by President and CEO Lou Braga—will remain in place, Mr. Crowne said.
The purchased company—founded in 1917—has a work force of about 2,450 at facilities spread throughout the U.S., Mexico, Asia, Europe, Australia and South America.
“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,” Mr. Graham said.
He said the purchase will take Crowne “into a new phase of our evolution, and we look forward to working with our new partners as we continue to successfully execute our strategy.”
Trico officials did not comment on where it would likely fit within the Crowne organization or speculate on its future growth opportunities under the Crowne umbrella.
Kohlberg’s Evan Wildstein, a partner at the private equity firm, said the company was pleased with the outcome of its investment in Trico and believes it has a bright future.
“We are confident that the company will continue on its trajectory of success under Crowne Group’s ownership,” he said.
It purchased Trico in mid-2007 from Tomkins P.L.C. for about $111 million. It was part of the disposal of non-core businesses within the England-based firm. Tomkins, in turn, was acquired by Pinafore Acquisitions Ltd. in September 2010.
This report appeared on the website of Rubber & Plastics News, an Akron-based sister publication of Tire Business.
Titan International and the United Steelworkers union have petitioned the U.S. International Trade Commission and U.S. Department of Commerce seeking relief from OTR tire imports from China, India and Sri Lanka. What’s your opinion?
|I wholeheartedly support their action – something needs to be done.||
|I think it’s a bad idea that could inevitably tie the hands of domestic tire makers.||
|I oppose any duties against tire importers—they only raise costs for distributors and make it harder to obtain inventory.||
|I’m kind of on the fence and not sure what’s right, but need more information before deciding.||
|I don’t really care whether or not relief is granted.||
|Total votes: 78|