Clearlake Exits Sage Automotive

Clearlake Capital Group has agreed to sell Sage Automotive Interiors to Asahi Kasei Group at an enterprise value of $1.06 billion. Clearlake acquired Sage Automotive in October 2014.

Sage Automotive Interiors is one of the world’s leading providers of automotive interior materials – seating, door panel surfaces, and headliners – to automotive original equipment manufacturers. The company has offices and manufacturing facilities in the US, Japan, China, Brazil, Korea, India, Thailand, Mexico, and Europe. Sage Automotive sales in 2017 were $475 million, up from $416 million in 2016. The company is headquartered in Greenville, SC (www.sageautomotiveinteriors.com).

During Clearlake’s four-year ownership term the firm completed several add-on acquisitions, including the April 2015 buy of Miko S.r.l., an Italian maker of suede-like automotive interior fabrics; and the October 2016 buy of Apollo S.p.A., an Italian maker of automotive interior fabrics. These acquisitions enabled the company to expand its technical capabilities, product offerings, European manufacturing resources, and further penetrated key OEM customers.

“Our original investment thesis four years ago was to partner with Sage’s management team and aggressively grow the platform by expanding both its product portfolio and geographic footprint,” said José Feliciano, Managing Partner and Co-Founder, Clearlake.  “We are proud that, alongside Dirk and his team, we were able to meaningfully scale the platform and generate significant value.”

“Today’s announcement is a tremendous accomplishment for Sage and Clearlake and reflects positively upon the successful growth strategy executed during our ownership,” added Colin Leonard, Partner, Clearlake.  “Sage has become a market leading provider of high-performance technical textiles and microfiber suedes to the automotive industry, and we look forward to watching the company’s continued growth in the future.”

Clearlake has over $3.5 billion of assets under management and invests in the following sectors: industrials and energy; software and technology-enabled services; and consumer. The firm was co-founded by Mr. Feliciano and Behdad Eghbali in 2006 and is headquartered in Santa Monica, CA (www.clearlakecapital.com).

“In partnership with Clearlake, we were able to successfully pursue our vision of creating a unique, global platform,” said Dirk Pieper, CEO of Sage. “This transaction highlights Sage’s success and provides a strong platform to help drive our continued growth. We look forward to working with Asahi Kasei as we continue to execute our strategy and deliver the highest quality product to our customers worldwide.”

Publicly-traded Asahi Kasei Group (TSE: 3407) is a diversified group of companies with operations in the chemicals and fibers, homes and construction materials, electronics, and health care business sectors. Asahi Kasei supplies microfiber suede to Sage, and the two companies have had a long-standing business relationship. The company is headquartered in Tokyo and has offices and plants across Japan, China, Singapore, Thailand, USA, and Germany (www.asahi-kasei.co.jp).

© 2018 Private Equity Professional | July 20, 2018

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