Press release, October 29, 2007
Greenbriar Equity Group and Berkshire Partners Complete Acquisition of AmSafe Partners, Inc.
Rye, New York, October 29, 2007 -- Greenbriar Equity Group LLC and Berkshire Partners LLC today announced the acquisition of AmSafe Partners, Inc., a leading provider of highly engineered, proprietary safety and securement systems for the aviation, air cargo, military and specialty vehicle markets. Greenbriar and Berkshire acquired the Company from The Pritzker Group and Admiralty Partners, Inc. Terms were not disclosed.
Headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, AmSafe operates through three business units: AmSafe Aviation is the largest global manufacturer of passenger, flight attendant, and cockpit restraints; AmSafe Bridport is a leading manufacturer of aircraft barrier and pallet nets and climate control products for air cargo, defense, and commercial aftermarket segments; and AmSafe Commercial Products manufactures child harnesses and specialty vehicle restraint systems. The Company, with operations in North America, China, Sri Lanka and the United Kingdom, generated revenue for the twelve months ending December 31, 2006 of more than $200 million and employs approximately 1,450 people worldwide.
"AmSafe has grown significantly under the leadership of The Pritzker Group and Admiralty Partners. We are excited to continue that trajectory by now partnering with Berkshire Partners and Greenbriar Equity Group," stated Ken Beckemeyer, who has served as the Company's President since 1994 and will continue in that capacity. "Berkshire's and Greenbriar's successful track records of building businesses and setting strategic direction, and the firms' extensive aerospace and transportation expertise make them terrific partners for AmSafe."
Berkshire and Greenbriar previously invested together in the aerospace industry when they purchased preferred stock in Hexcel Corporation (NYSE: HXL) in 2003. Hexcel is a leading supplier of composite materials used in commercial and military aircraft as well as a variety of other industrial applications.
"Ken and his team have built a very successful business and an excellent reputation in the industry," stated Reginald L. Jones, Managing Partner of Greenbriar Equity Group. "The Company is the market leader and has strong prospects for continued growth in its core passenger and cargo restraint products."
"We are very impressed with the quality and depth of experience of AmSafe's senior management team," stated Lawrence S. Hamelsky, Managing Director of Berkshire Partners. "With over 100 years of combined industry experience, including 70 years with AmSafe, this management team has a longstanding track record of results and we look forward to supporting their efforts in executing the future plans for the franchise."
Greenbriar and Berkshire were advised in this transaction by Credit Suisse and Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP. Senior secured debt financing for the transaction was provided by funds managed by Oak Hill Advisors, L.P. and Wells Fargo, while the subordinated financing was privately placed. The Pritzker Group and Admiralty Partners were advised by Jefferies Quarterdeck, a division of Jefferies & Company, Inc., and Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP.
About Berkshire Partners and Greenbriar Equity Group
Berkshire Partners has invested in mid-sized private companies for more than 20 years through seven investment funds with aggregate capital commitments of approximately $6.5 billion. Berkshire seeks companies with acquisition values between $200 million and $2.0 billion and in a given transaction makes equity investments of approximately $50 million to $500 million. Berkshire has developed specific industry experience in several areas, including transportation, energy, manufacturing, business services, consumer products, retailing and communications. Over the past two decades, Berkshire has been an investor in 90 operating companies with approximately $20 billion of acquisition value and combined revenues over $22 billion. For additional information, visit www.berkshirepartners.com.
Greenbriar Equity Group LLC recently closed its second fund and manages approximately $1.5 billion of limited partner capital commitments. Greenbriar is focused exclusively on making private equity investments in companies with enterprise values in excess of $100 million within the global transportation industry, including companies in freight and passenger transport, commercial aerospace, automotive, logistics, and related sectors. Additional information may be found at www.greenbriarequity.com.
About The Pritzker Group and Admiralty Partners, Inc.
The Pritzker Group is a private investment firm representing Pritzker family interests. It partners with management teams in leveraged buyouts, acquisitions and recapitalizations of middle-market companies across a broad range of manufacturing, distribution and service industry sectors. Focused primarily on control transactions involving mature/high quality companies, The Pritzker Group brings a combination of investment and operating expertise, decades of experience across a wide range of industries and a broad relationship network to optimize the performance of the companies in which it invests. For more information visit www.pritzkergroup.com.
Admiralty Partners is a private investment firm which invests exclusively within the global aerospace and defense industries. It is the successor firm to the Quarterdeck Family of Companies which was founded by Jon B. Kutler in 1992. This industry focused specialist financial group has included Quarterdeck Investment Partners, LLC, the sectors' leading global merger & acquisition advisor as well as merchant banking firms Quarterdeck Equity Partners, Inc. and Quarterdeck Public Equities, LLC. Quarterdeck Investment Partners, LLC was sold to Jefferies & Company, Inc., (NYSE: JEF) in 2002. For more information visit www.admiraltypartners.com.
The Pritzker Group and Admiralty Partners previously invested together in the aerospace industry when they purchased Composite Structures, LLC from Alcoa Inc. (NYSE: AA) and later sold it to Duccomun Inc. (NYSE: DCO) in 2001.