Bestop Acquires MGP Caliper Covers

Bestop, a portfolio company of Kinderhook Industries, has acquired Marshall Genuine Products (MGP).

MGP manufactures caliper covers that are used by automotive enthusiasts to keep wheels clean from brake pad dust by redirecting the dust toward the rear of the vehicle. MGP was founded in 2008 by Mike Barland and is headquartered near San Diego in Chula Vista, California.

MGP’s products – available in red, black, or matte black powder-coated finishes – are made from aerospace-grade aluminum and stainless steel using CNC machining, hydraulic forming, and tungsten inert gas (TIG) welding. MGP actively tests its products for stress and heat deformation, and corrosion both on and off-road, and over short and long term periods.

According to Kinderhook, Bestop is the world’s largest manufacturer of soft tops and fabric accessories for Jeep and UTVs (Utility Task Vehicle or Utility Terrain Vehicle). The company has been the sole supplier of factory soft tops on all Jeep Wranglers since 1986 and is a major supplier of tonneaus, lockboxes, lighting and fabric caps to the pickup truck market. Bestop, led by CEO John Larson, was founded in 1954 and is headquartered near Denver in Louisville, Colorado.

“We are excited to add MGP to our growing portfolio of premium brands,” said Mr. Larson. “As a product innovator, Mike has created the category, educated the market and owned the category since day one. Through Mike’s technological expertise, MGP has been able to secure licenses with top automotive brands including Ford, MOPAR, GM, Honda and Acura. Bestop will continue to focus on developing these relationships and creating new partnerships across the automotive industry.”

The buy of MGP is Bestop’s seventh add-on acquisition since being acquired by Kinderhook in August 2015. Prior to MGP, Bestop’s most recent add-on acquisition was the June 2019 buy of Colorado-based Softopper, a designer, manufacturer and distributor of convertible soft tops for light-duty pickup trucks and SUV’s.

“Bestop continues to execute on its acquisition thesis, acquiring top tier brands with strong customer relationships. MGP is known for its high-quality products and easy installation process. We will continue to focus on these principles for MGP and across the Bestop portfolio,” said Tom Tuttle, 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.

Antares Capital provided the debt financing to support the buy of MGP.

© 2021 Private Equity Professional | May 4, 2021

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