Safe Fleet Acquisition Corp. a new platform company formed by The Sterling Group, has acquired R•O•M Corporation (ROM) and Specialty Manufacturing, Inc. (SMI). Both ROM and SMI are portfolio companies of Century Park Capital Partners. The investment in Safe Fleet Acquisition Corp. is Sterling’s fifth investment in its $820 million third fund raised in 2010.
ROM is a manufacturer of value-added equipment for specialty vehicles, including fire trucks, trailers, utility vehicles and military vehicles. ROM product are sold to emergency responders, truck and trailer operators, food and pharmaceutical manufacturers, telecommunication and utility workers and other specialty vehicle occupations. The company was founded in 1947 and is headquartered in Belton, MO (www.romcorp.com).
SMI is a supplier of bus safety products, interior components and lighting systems to the school, transit and shuttle bus markets. The company’s product offerings include roof hatches, interior lighting and panels, overhead parcel racks, stop arms, crossing arms, step treads, bumpers and a variety of other products. The company was founded in the mid 1970’s and is headquartered in Pineville, NC (www.smiglobal.net).
“ROM and SMI offer a powerful combination of two market leading businesses that have consistently and reliably provided safety related equipment to fleets in their respective industries for a collective 88 years,” said Gary Rosenthal, Partner at The Sterling Group. “The combination of these two businesses allows us to draw on the strengths of the two legacy organizations. Sterling will work closely with management to further improve operations and take advantage of numerous strategic and acquisition related opportunities.”
The Sterling Group targets controlling interests in basic manufacturing, industrial services and distribution companies that have enterprise values from $100 million to $500 million. Sterling has sponsored the buyout of 43 platform companies and numerous add-on acquisitions for a total transaction value greater than $10 billion. The firm was founded in 1982 and is headquartered in Houston (www.sterling-group.com).
The acquisition was financed with equity from Sterling Group Partners III, LP. First lien financing was arranged by BNP Paribas, and second lien debt was provided by Oaktree Capital Mezzanine.
Harris Williams & Co. acted as the exclusive advisor to ROM and SMI. The transaction was led by John Arendale, Frank Mountcastle, Jershon Jones and Mike Williams from the Harris Williams’ Richmond office.
Century Park Capital Partners invests from $10 million to $40 million in middle-market companies with operating cash flows of at least $4 million and revenues ranging from $25 million to $150 million. Sectors of interest include manufacturing, branded distribution and service businesses. The firm is based in Los Angeles (www.centuryparkcapital.com).
© 2013 PEPD • Private Equity’s Leading News Magazine • 10-2-13