GE Antares is serving as administrative agent on a $93 million senior secured credit facility to support the recent acquisition of Qualitor by Wellspring Capital Management. In addition to the senior debt, GE Antares provided a minority equity investment.
Qualitor is a supplier of aftermarket safety and wear parts including wiper blades and auto care accessories (under the Pylon brand) and brake hardware and related components (under the International Brake Industries brand). Qualitor’s products are functioning components that are critical to safe vehicle operation. Due to their design and purpose, Qualitor’s products also wear out regularly. According to market research firm IMR (www.automotiveresearch.com), out of 96 various types of repair and maintenance jobs, Qualitor’s products were among top ten most-replaced components in 2012. Qualitor operates six North American locations and is headquartered in the Detroit suburb of Southfield, MI (www.qualitorinc.com).
“We’re very happy to be financing another acquisition by Wellspring,” said Chet Zara, senior managing director of GE Antares. “We have known Qualitor for several years under prior ownership, and we look forward to supporting the growth plan being pursued by Wellspring and management.”
GE Antares is a unit of GE Capital with offices in Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, Toronto, New York, and San Francisco. Specializing in the middle market, GE Antares is a “one-stop” source for GE’s lending and other services to middle market private equity sponsors (www.geantares.com).
“GE Antares’ familiarity with Qualitor and the automotive aftermarket, certainty of execution and middle market expertise made them an ideal lender for this transaction,” said John Morningstar, a managing partner at Wellspring. “We look forward to continuing our longstanding relationship with the team at GE Antares.”
Wellspring Capital Management is a middle-market private equity firm that manages more than $3 billion of private equity capital. The firm was founded in 1995 and is based in New York (www.wellspringcapital.com).
2014 PEPD • Private Equity’s Leading News Magazine • 11-17-14