Kinderhook Acquires Superwinch from Islington
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Kinderhook Acquires Superwinch from Islington

superwinch nf4Kinderhook Industries has acquired Superwinch, a designer, manufacturer and marketer of winch systems, from Islington Capital Partners.

Superwinch is a provider of electric and hydraulic winches, power drives and related accessories. Superwinch’s products are used in a variety of industrial and consumer applications and are sold to a global customer base including OEMs, industrial distributors and retailers.  Its products are primarily sold under the Superwinch brand name and through various private-label and co-branding relationships.  The company is headquartered east of Hartford in Dayville, CT and also has operations in Tavistock, UK (near Plymouth).  The company was founded in 1970 (www.superwinch.com).

Upon closing of the transaction, Kinderhook appointed industry veteran David Burns as Superwinch’s Chief Executive Officer.  “Superwinch has developed into one of the leading brands in the winch industry and I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to leverage my more than 10 years of aftermarket experience at Warn Industries to lead the company in its next phase of consumer driven growth,” said Mr. Burns.  “With Kinderhook as our new partner, we will continue to invest in research and development and launch new and innovative products like the Talon series of winches. The Talon series are the most advanced off-road winches ever developed for the Jeep/Truck market and are the type of product the market has come to expect from Superwinch.”

Superwinch is the second platform investment in Kinderhook Capital Fund IV, a 2014 fund with $500 million of committed capital. This transaction is Kinderhook’s 7th automotive aftermarket platform investment and 14th transaction in the automotive aftermarket sector.

Paul Cifelli nf1Kinderhook has no small plans for Superwinch.  “The acquisition of Superwinch aligns perfectly with Kinderhook’s investment strategy of partnering with world-class management teams to acquire companies who are leaders in their respective niches,” said Paul Cifelli, Managing Director at Kinderhook. “Kinderhook has developed an expertise in the automotive aftermarket and we are excited about the opportunity to work with Mr. Burns and his team to support his vision for growth at a market leader like Superwinch. Kinderhook’s proven “buy-and-build” strategy will accelerate the company’s growth and allow us to build the largest and most diverse supplier of winches to both the consumer and industrial markets.”

tom tuttle nf1“We are excited to partner with David Burns and his management team in executing our global growth plans for Superwinch through both organic and acquisition led growth,” said Tom Tuttle, Managing Director at Kinderhook.

Kinderhook Industries makes control investments in companies with transaction values of $25 million to $150 million in which the firm can achieve financial, operational and growth improvements.  Kinderhook pursues private equity investments in non-core divisions of public companies, management buyouts of entrepreneurial-owned businesses, troubled situations, and existing small capitalization companies lacking institutional support. The firm, founded in 2003, has $1.25 billion of committed capital and is based in New York (www.kinderhook.com).

Financing for the transaction was provided by TCF Capital Funding, a cash flow and asset-based lender to lower middle market businesses.  National in scope, this senior leveraged lending group focuses on providing private equity sponsor-backed cash flow loans and asset-based loans to companies with less than $100 million in revenue and between $2 million and $10 million in EBITDA.  The firm is based just outside of Chicago in Burr Ridge, IL (www.tcfcapitalfunding.com).

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Islington Capital Partners, the seller of Superwinch, invests in companies with revenues of up to $50 million, with a particular emphasis on businesses that are generating $1 million to $3 million of EBITDA.  Sectors of interest include industrial manufacturing; building materials; food services; distribution; medical equipment; communications equipment; consumer products; direct marketing; business services; financial services; information services; and publishing.  The firm was founded by John Cullinane (formerly the President and Chief Executive Officer of BancBoston Capital) and Paul Spinale (formerly a Managing Director at Audax Group) and is headquartered west of Boston in Newton Lower Falls, MA (www.islingtoncapital.com). 

 © 2015 PEPD • Private Equity’s Leading News Magazine • 3-25-15

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