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Industrial Opportunity Partners' Platform Center Manufacturing Acquires Van Products and Unipro Unlimited

Acquisitions Expand Center's Existing Product Lines

Evanston, Ill., November 17, 2011 – Industrial Opportunity Partners (“IOP”), an operations-focused private equity firm based in Evanston, Ill., today announced the strategic acquisition of two related businesses, Van Products Co. (“Van”) and Unipro Unlimited, Inc. (“Unipro”) (collectively the “Companies”) by its platform company Center Manufacturing, Inc. (“Center”). Center, headquartered in Grand Rapids, Mich., is a leading manufacturer of highly engineered, complex, and customized metal assemblies and components sold primarily to OEMs in the heavy- and medium-duty truck, power sports, motorcycle, construction, and agricultural markets. The acquisitions expand Center’s product line and customer base, and further position the company as a key supplier of a wide range of complex welded fabrications and assemblies.

Located in Vanderbilt, Mich., the Companies are leading producers of engineered components and fabricated tube assemblies to top-tier original equipment manufacturers (“OEMs”) of diesel engines and diesel-powered medium-duty and heavy-duty equipment. Established in 1947, the Companies are highly efficient designers and manufacturers of custom dipsticks, oil caps, and tube assemblies and will further enhance Center’s existing market position in these product niches. Operating from two manufacturing facilities, the Companies serve customers in commercial vehicle, construction, agricultural, military, and other end markets.

Adam Gottlieb, Managing Director of IOP, stated, “We are excited to support our platform investment in Center with the highly strategic acquisitions of Van and Unipro. This is Center’s fifth acquisition since 2008 and its second in 2011.”

Andrew Weller, Chairman of Center and an Operating Principal of IOP, added, “The acquisition of Van and Unipro are highly complementary to the existing Center platform. The combined company will benefit through its broadened customer relationships, product offerings and manufacturing capabilities. The Center platform continues to be very well positioned and has significant momentum as we head into 2012.”

Senior debt was provided by Capital One Leverage Finance Corp. and junior debt was provided by Patriot Capital. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Van and UniPro represent IOP’s fifth acquisition in 2011; the firm has made three new platform investments and two strategic add-on acquisitions.

 

About Center Manufacturing, Inc.

Center is a leading manufacturer of complex welded fabrications and assemblies for top-tier OEM manufacturers of motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles, commercial vehicles, automobiles, construction and agricultural equipment, and HVAC equipment. For more information, visit Center’s website at www.centermfg.com.

About Industrial Opportunity Partners

IOP is an Evanston, Ill.-based private equity firm dedicated to creating value through investing in manufacturing and value-added distribution businesses with sales between $30 million and $350 million. IOP focuses on businesses with strong product, customer and market positions, and provides management and operational resources to support growth in sales and earnings at its businesses.

 

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