Rostra, a platform investment of Superior Capital Partners, has acquired the turn signal switch product line of Grote Industries. The acquired assets and manufacturing lines of Grote will be placed under Vehicle Safety Manufacturing, a division of Rostra, and will be relocated to the company’s operations in Newark, NJ.
Vehicle Safety Manufacturing (VSM) is a supplier of turn signal switches, lighting products and safety components to both OEMs and aftermarket customers in the heavy duty and slow moving vehicle marketplaces. Specific products include turn signal switches, interior and exterior LED lighting, clearance and marker lamp assemblies, auxiliary fog and off-road lighting, flashers, relays and connectors, along with strobe lamps and a variety of mounting assemblies. VSM was acquired by Rostra Precision Controls in October 2014 and is headquartered in Newark, NJ (www.vehiclesafetymfg.com)
The buy of Grote’s turn signal switch operation positions VSM – according to Superior Capital – as the undisputed leader of domestically produced turn signal products for the North American heavy duty truck market. “The acquisition of the Grote product line represents exactly the type of operationally intensive, value-added bolt-on that we seek in order to create out-sized returns for our investors,” said Mark Carroll, Superior’s Managing Partner. “We’ve been working with the Rostra management team and Grote’s customers for months in preparation for the move of the product line. When it is successfully transitioned, VSM will have the number one market position and have the lowest cost operations.”
Rostra Precision Controls is a manufacturer and distributor of electronic accessories including obstacle sensing systems, cruise controls and comfort systems to the light-vehicle aftermarket. The VSM Division is a supplier of heavy duty turn signal switches, lighting products and safety components to both OEM and aftermarket customers in the heavy duty and slow moving vehicle marketplaces. Through its 12-volt Automotive Accessories division, Rostra is a manufacturer of add-on safety, comfort and convenience products including aftermarket cruise control systems, a variety of lighting accessories, parking assistance and obstacle detection systems, exterior vehicle camera systems, lumbar supports and seat heaters. Through its Transmission and Powertrain manufacturing division, Rostra supplies a network of transmission rebuilders and repair shops with linear solenoid assemblies, transmission wire harness assemblies, sensors, controls, and vacuum modulators. Rostra is headquartered in Laurinburg, NC (www.rostra.com) (www.rostratransmission.com) (www.valvebodydirect.com).
“The combination of these product lines allows VSM to expand its roster of the leading OE customers, as well as expand our reach to many new customers,” said Jim Pineau, Chief Executive Officer of Rostra and VSM. “The responsibility of being the most dominant US manufacturer of turn signal switches for the heavy duty truck market is one we take very seriously. We expect that our enhanced scale and renewed commitment to product development will enable us to provide our customers with innovative new products over the coming years.”
Superior Capital Partners invests in niche manufacturers, value-added distributors and specialty service companies with annual revenues between $10 million and $150 million. Superior will invest up to $15 million of equity per transaction in management buyouts, corporate spin-offs, recapitalizations, family successions, acquisitions out of bankruptcy and debt purchases. The firm is based in Detroit (www.superiorfund.com).
TCF Capital Funding increased its existing credit facilities to Rostra to provide the debt financing for this add-on acquisition. “We are excited to be able to support an existing TCF Capital Funding portfolio company in this accretive acquisition. The addition of the Grote’s turn signal switch product line further strengthens VSM’s market share in this niche industry” said TCF Capital Funding President Joe Gaffigan.
TCF Capital Funding provides cash flow and asset-based lending 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).
© 2015 PEPD • Private Equity’s Leading News Magazine • 11-12-15