Kinderhook Buys Truck Accessory Maker
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Kinderhook Buys Truck Accessory Maker

Kinderhook Industries has acquired LAUB Holdings (DBA Leonard) from Copeley Capital.

Leonard is a manufacturer and specialty retailer of truck accessories, trailers, and sheds with 59 retail locations in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, and Tennessee.

Leonard’s sheds are manufactured at the company’s Mount Airy, North Carolina headquarters and its trailers are manufactured under contract with a third-party supplier. The company’s customers include professionals, do-it-yourself and do-it-for-me consumers, and truck enthusiasts.

“Leonard offers a unique opportunity to invest in a distinct business model with an experienced management team in a sector in which Kinderhook has deep experience,” said Tom Tuttle, a managing director of Kinderhook. “Kinderhook plans to leverage its relationships within the automotive aftermarket to help accelerate Leonard’s growth.”

Leonard was founded by the late Tyson Leonard in 1963 in Augusta, Georgia as a retailer of portable, corrugated aluminum sheds. The company relocated to North Carolina in 1969 and began making and selling aluminum truck caps and camper shells. During the ’70s, Leonard added to its product line with the addition of truck tool boxes, running boards, bed liners, and towing accessories. In the mid-1990s the company added cargo trailers to its product line. Copeley Capital acquired the business in August 2015 and today Leonard is led by CEO Mike Pack.

“With a nearly 60-year heritage, Leonard is a high-profile brand in its core markets,” said Mr. Pack. “The Leonard team is excited to partner with Kinderhook to build Leonard’s footprint and bring quality products and trusted service to even more customers.”

“Kinderhook is excited to partner with Mike Pack and his executive leadership team as they continue the geographic expansion of Leonard’s unique retail model which provides for a high touch, in-person experience that is beneficial to customers who are in the market for high-quality sheds, trailers, and truck accessories,” said Paul Cifelli, a managing director of Kinderhook.

New York City-based Kinderhook has over $3.3 billion of committed capital and has closed more than 250 investments and follow-on acquisitions since its founding in 1983. Kinderhook 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. Sectors of interest include healthcare services; environmental and business services; and automotive and light manufacturing. The acquisition of Leonard is Kinderhook’s 26th automotive/light-manufacturing platform since inception.

Financing for the buy of Leonard by Kinderhook was provided by Twin Brook Capital Partners. Chicago-based Twin Brook focuses on loans to private equity-owned companies with EBITDA between $3 million and $50 million, with an emphasis on companies with $25 million of EBITDA and below. The firm targets senior financing opportunities up to $200 million, with hold sizes across the platform ranging from $25 million up to $150 million. Twin Brook’s products include opportunistic investments in second lien, mezzanine, and equity co-investments.

Copeley Capital, the seller of Leonard, invests in companies with at least $3 million in EBITDA. Sectors of interest include healthcare, business services, building products, waste and recycling, industrial manufacturing, and consumer products. The firm was founded in 2003 by its managing partner Lane Faison and is headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Piper Sandler & Co. was the financial advisor to Leonard and Copeley on this transaction.

© 2021 Private Equity Professional | March 5, 2021

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