Industrial Opportunity Partners' Platform Center Manufacturing Completes Two Strategic Acquisitions
Center Expands Manufacturing Capabilities, Reaches New Customers in Medium and Heavy-Duty Truck Market By Acquiring Fuel Tank Manufacturing Facility
and Assets of Large-Diameter Tube Provider
Evanston, IL - April 21, 2009 – Middle market private equity firm Industrial Opportunity Partners (“IOP”) of Evanston, Ill., today announced that it has completed two strategic acquisitions for platform company Center Manufacturing, Inc. (“Center”), a leading supplier of vehicle components to top-tier original equipment manufacturers. The two businesses acquired by Center Manufacturing CV, Inc. (“Center CV”), a newly formed affiliate of Center, manufacture products for the medium and heavy-duty truck market, one of Center’s core markets. The acquisitions expand Center’s product line and its customer base, and position the company as a critical supplier of a wide range of complex welded fabrications and assemblies for the commercial vehicle market.
Center CV has acquired the Wytheville, Virginia fuel tank manufacturing facility of Fuel Systems Inc. The facility is the exclusive fuel tank supplier to Volvo and Mack Trucks in North America. The facility is a focused and efficient facility, with an excellent track record of quality, delivery and customer service.
Center CV also has acquired the large diameter tube bending and fabricating assets of Steel Products Group (“SPG”), a division of Contech, an automotive and truck component supplier that filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on January 30, 2009. The acquired assets represent the medium and heavy-duty truck exhaust tubing and coatings business of SPG and will be integrated into Center’s existing facilities in Grand Rapids, Mich., and Greenwood, S.C., leveraging Center’s strong management team and world-class facilities. The acquisition of SPG expands Center’s tube bending capability from up to three inches to up to 12 inches in diameter. Leading customers of the acquired business include Volvo and Mack Trucks and CNH Global (construction and agricultural equipment).
Center, which is based in Grand Rapids, Mich., has a long history of manufacturing high-quality, complex welded fabrications and assemblies for top-tier original equipment manufacturers such as Honda Motor Corporation, Harley Davidson, PACCAR, and others.
Robert M. Vedra, Managing Director of IOP, stated, “We are very pleased to support our existing platform investment, Center, and its management team with these two highly strategic and complementary product and customer extensions.”
Andrew M. Weller, Chairman of Center and an Operating Principal of IOP, added, “These two acquisitions highlight our ability to capitalize on this difficult market environment by creating value through expanding further into the commercial vehicle market, a core market for Center, with the support of our customers.”
Richard Nielsen, President and CEO of Center, noted, “Despite the soft conditions in many of our end markets, we continue to win new business and expand our customer base, both through internal growth and now through strategic acquisitions as well. As with our existing business, we will continue to focus on operational excellence and support of our customers.”
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, IL 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 products, customers and markets, and provides management and operational resources to support growth in sales and earnings at its businesses. For more information, visit IOP’s website at www.iopfund.com.