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Lippert Acquires Assets of RV Chassis Business

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August 22, 2011 by   Leave a Comment

White Plains, N.Y.-based Drew Industries Inc., a leading supplier of components to the recreational vehicle and manufactured housing industry, today (Aug. 22) reported that its wholly owned subsidiary, Lippert Components Inc., acquired from EA Technologies LLC the business and certain assets of the towable RV chassis and slideout mechanism operation previously owned by Dexter Chassis Group.

According to a press release, the acquired business has annual sales of more than $40 million, and the purchase price was $13.5 million, which was paid from available cash. Drew expects the acquisition to be immediately accretive to earnings.

“During 2011, we have taken several significant steps to enhance our growth and profit potential,” said Fred Zinn, Drew president and CEO.

These steps included:

• In January 2011, Drew acquired Home-Style, a manufacturer of a full line of upholstered furniture and mattresses for the Northwest RV market, with annual sales of approximately $12 million. Home-Style complements Drew’s Indiana-based Seating Technology operation, acquired in 2008.

• In July 2011, Drew acquired certain assets and businesses of M-Tec, a manufacturer primarily of components for RVs and mobile office units, with annual sales of approximately $12 million.

• In August 2011, Drew introduced a newly developed line of RV awnings, which will be sold directly to RV manufacturers, as well as through aftermarket distributors. The total market for RV awnings is well in excess of $100 million.

• During the year, Drew enhanced its management team, formed new sales teams to address aftermarket sales of its RV and manufactured housing products, as well new markets, and opened a state-of-the-art RV customer service center.

Zinn stated: “The combination of these steps and the continued growth we expect from acquisitions completed in 2010, we believe the acquisition of this RV chassis and slideout mechanism business will further enhance our ability to grow faster than our core markets. In addition, we have the financial and managerial resources to continue to pursue expansion opportunities which we believe will yield favorable returns on our investments. After completing this latest acquisition, we have available cash of $10 million, no debt, and $185 million of available borrowing capacity.”

“The success of our previous acquisitions has in large part been due to the strength of our operating management team,” said Jason Lippert, CEO of Goshen, Ind.-based Lippert Components. “The entire team is excited about this new acquisition, and the prospects of working even more closely with the key customers of this business. Our experience enables us to build high quality chassis and slide-out mechanisms for towable RVs, and the market share we are gaining through this acquisition will allow us to further increase the effectiveness of our existing manufacturing capacity. We will continue to focus on providing outstanding value and service to our customers.”

Lippert Components, currently the leading supplier of chassis and slideout mechanisms for towable RVs, expects to consolidate the operations of the acquired business into its existing facilities before the end of 2011.

“Over the past six years, our management team has consolidated more than 20 manufacturing facilities, and integrated several acquired operations,” said Scott Mereness, president of Lippert Components. “As a result, we have developed the capability to complete these integrations quickly and efficiently, minimizing any disruption to the acquired business. Further, by utilizing our existing production capacity, strong purchasing power, and effective production techniques, we can improve efficiencies and reduce costs of the acquired operations.”

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