PHILADELPHIA, June 26, 2012 – Graham Partners is pleased to announce that its pick-up truck bedliner and protective coatings business, LINE-X, has acquired a leading OEM designer and manufacturer of automotive accessories and provider of vehicle upfit services, Ground Effects, Ltd. (“GFX” or “Ground Effects”). The acquisition, which triples LINE-X’s sales, was 100% funded through cash and new senior debt facilities at LINE-X along with a seller note.
The combination of LINE-X and Ground Effects creates the opportunity to realize significant synergies, including having GFX manufacture automotive accessories that can be installed by LINE-X’s network of 425+ domestic and Canadian franchisees, as well as by creating customized vehicle upfit packages that LINE-X franchisees can sell and install in the aftermarket.
The strategy of Graham Partners is to acquire businesses benefiting from technological or consumer-preference driven conversions within their respective industries. LINE-X and GFX align directly with this strategy, driven by the conversion from pre-molded drop-in bedliners to spray-on protective coatings. Operationally, over the past few years, LINE-X has strengthened its franchise base, diversified its product offering into new protective coatings applications, and maintained an industry-leading marketing presence.
Josh Wilson, Managing Principal at Graham Partners, stated, “We couldn’t imagine a more exciting combination. LINE-X has built its reputation as the leader in the automotive aftermarket, and has a franchise base that stands ready to offer new products to their existing customers. GFX sales are up over 2.5x since 2008 and GFX has won coveted awards from virtually all of the OEM truck manufacturers that LINE-X serves in the aftermarket. We look forward to seeing these two businesses work together to deliver industry leading products across the entire spectrum of potential customers.”
About LINE-X (www.linex.com): Headquartered in Huntsville, AL, LINE-X is a global developer and marketer of “Protective Coating Solutions” used in branded spray-on pick-up truck bedliners, as well as other commercial and industrial coatings. LINE-X is a market leader in the spray-on bedliner category and also operates an industrial coatings division that offers anti-corrosion and protection for industrial customers and force mitigation for government agencies.
About Ground Effects (www.gfxltd.com): Ground Effects, based in Windsor, Ontario, is a leading designer and manufacturer of interior and exterior automotive accessories and provider of upfit services to automotive OEMs and dealerships in the United States and Canada. GFX’s products are utilized on over 40 vehicle platforms.
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