Investment is Foundation for Firm’s Automotive Sector Portfolio that will Capitalize on Niche Opportunities
Los Angeles, CA – June 29, 2009 – OpenGate Capital, a global private equity firm, will acquire Gabriel North America (NA), a leading provider of shock absorbers and strut assemblies, from Fortune 500 company ArvinMeritor. Gabriel NA operates in both the aftermarket and Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) segments. This marks OpenGate’s fourth opportunistic acquisition in the past six months and its first in the automotive sector. For this investment, OpenGate is partnering with Gabriel North America’s management team to complete a transformation of the business.
“OpenGate is uncovering attractive niche investment opportunities in fragmented and rapidly changing industries,”said OpenGate’s Founder and Managing Partner Andrew Nikou. “By bringing additional expertise and resources to businesses in transition such as Gabriel NA, we maximize brand equity, product technology and customer relationships to produce excellent results for our investors. OpenGate will leverage Gabriel NA’s infrastructure to aggressively pursue other acquisitions in the motor vehicle market.”
Gabriel is one of the most widely recognized brands in the North American automotive and commercial vehicle aftermarket and supplies most of its products through a diverse and well-known customer base. The company is also a leading supplier of shocks to North American commercial, industrial and recreational vehicle manufacturers. In transforming the business, the management team and OpenGate will work to optimize manufacturing, expand product range, and broaden the range of niche applications for its products.
Lisa J. Bahash, president of Gabriel NA, commented, “OpenGate brings valuable resources and ideas to our company. Aligning with such a top-tier private equity firm is a very positive step in Gabriel’s long history. We look forward to working closely with OpenGate to unleash value for Gabriel NA and all of its stakeholders. We agree that the opportunities in the aftermarket segment, which offers many pockets of growth, are especially exciting.”
Nikou concluded by commenting on OpenGate’s strategy, “As our growing portfolio illustrates, we move quickly to find and acquire high-potential businesses. Executing a multitude of transactions in this difficult economy distinguishes OpenGate’s operating model, speed and certainty of closure. Our well-established track record enables the firm to attract capital, talent and dealflow despite global market challenges. In fact, being a well-funded firm with a strong portfolio permits us to be more opportunistic in the down market allowing us to continue strategic investments while building our portfolio companies.”
About Gabriel Ride Control Products – North America
Gabriel Ride Control Products designs, manufactures, markets and distributes shock absorbers and strut assemblies under the Gabriel® brand name. The business is a market leader in suspension system products and is among the
most widely recognized brands in the North American automotive aftermarket. Gabriel North America generates nearly $200 million of sales and has over 1,300 employees in the U.S., Canada and Mexico serving over 600 customer accounts. The company maintains manufacturing, warehouse, sales and management offices throughout North America including Detroit, Michigan; Chickasha, Oklahoma; Brentwood, Tennessee and Queretaro, Mexico.
Learn more about some of the company’s products at www.gabriel.comand
The company was formerly a subsidiary of ArvinMeritor (NYSE: ARM), a global supplier of a broad range of integrated systems, modules and components to the motor vehicle industry with sales of $7.2 billion in 2008.
ArvinMeritor, Inc. is a premier global supplier of a broad range of integrated systems, modules and components to the motor vehicle industry. The company marks its centennial anniversary in 2009, celebrating a long history of ’forward thinking.’ The company serves commercial truck, trailer and specialty original equipment manufacturers and certain aftermarkets, and light vehicle manufacturers. ArvinMeritor common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol ARM.
For more information, visit the company’s Web site at www.arvinmeritor.com.