Kinderhook Builds Automotive Keys Group

Kinderhook Builds Automotive Keys Group

Automotive Keys Group, a portfolio company of Kinderhook Industries, has completed its second acquisition with the buy of Midwest Keyless.

Automotive Keys Group (AKG) was formed by Kinderhook in January 2021 as a platform for consolidation in the automotive keys industry. The platform’s first buy was the Buffalo Group, a Chicago-based remanufacturer and distributor of automotive aftermarket keys, remotes and related equipment. Buffalo Group was founded by Rob Popkey and Ayal Sharvit.

Midwest Keyless is a remanufacturer and distributor of replacement OEM and aftermarket keyless entry remotes and keys, as well as key-cutting and programming equipment. Customers of Midwest Keyless include more than 3,000 locksmiths and automotive professionals throughout the United States and Canada.

Midwest Keyless also provides technical support and education on programming and key-cutting equipment through its on-staff experts and training seminars. The company is headquartered 60 miles northwest of Chicago in Spring Grove, Illinois.

The acquisition of Midwest Keyless builds AKG’s presence in the wholesale and locksmith sales channels.

“The Midwest Keyless team is an invaluable addition to AKG and together we will enhance the growth potential of our combined businesses,” said Ayal Sharvit, the CEO of AKG. “The integration of Midwest Keyless will allow us to better serve our customers and expand our relationships with locksmiths and other professionals nationwide and in Canada.”

“Midwest Keyless has been a standard-setting automotive replacement keys company for over 15 years and is known for its knowledgeable staff who have a wealth of expertise on the ever-changing technology of the locksmith industry,” said Paul Cifelli, a managing director at Kinderhook. “Our growing AKG platform is following the path of many previous Kinderhook successes in the automotive aftermarket.”

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.

Wayne, Pennsylvania-based Conlin & Co., led by Patrick Conlin, was the financial advisor to Midwest Keyless.

© 2021 Private Equity Professional | March 25, 2021

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