It’s a good fit. That’s the way Adam Dexter, CEO of Elkhart, Ind.-based Dexter Axle, sees the latest move for his company.
As reported by the South Bend Tribune, the Sterling Group, a middle market private equity firm in Houston, recently announced that it has acquired the axle and brake supplier.
“I just think it’s a good fit for Dexter with the company that Sterling is and the types of businesses that they focus on — manufacturing businesses with the key elements of distribution and a service-related-type focus,” Dexter said. “It’s just a real good fit between the two organizations, and I think it will work out well for both parties.”
The firm completed the acquisition from Tomkins Industries Inc., a subsidiary of Pinafore Holdings B.V., through its affiliated investment fund, Sterling Group Partners III.
“We are excited about the opportunity to draw on our deep experience with corporate carve-outs to transition Dexter to a stand-alone business,” said Kevin Garland, a partner at The Sterling Group, in a news release.
Dexter, which was a subsidiary of Tomkins Industries Inc., supplies not only axles and brakes but suspension assemblies, doors, venting products and related components to the industrial and utility trailer, recreational vehicle, heavy duty and manufactured housing markets.
Locally Dexter employs 85 people at its headquarters in Elkhart and about another 165 at its manufacturing facility in Bristol. Overall it has 1,275 employees.
Dexter had been owned by Tomkins Industries for 22 years. “And they were good to us,” Dexter stressed.
He said he does not expect dramatic changes within the company for his employees. “I think that the intent of Sterling is they saw a good business in Dexter,” Dexter said. “It’s been around for a long time, in excess of 50 years with a very strong brand and a leading position in the market place. They bought us for what we are and want to continue to let us operate our business and proceed forward into the future.”