Lippert Components Inc. on Monday, (Aug. 18) announced its purchase of Elkhart, Ind.,-based Duncan Systems Inc., a distributor of replacement windshields, windows and awnings for the recreational vehicle and specialty truck markets, the Elkhart Truth reported in a follow-up story.
The acquisition marks Lippert’s long-term strategy to enter the lucrative RV aftermarket business and gives the company a foothold in the insurance claim market, which is a large part of Duncan’s business, said Lippert president Scott Mereness.
“We also like that they’re headquartered in Elkhart, which makes it easier for us to run and grow the business,“ Mereness said.
Duncan already distributes some Lippert-made windows, along with those made by other companies. Lippert’s control of the company should boost its window sales, Mereness said.
Mereness said the acquisition poses no threat to the livelihoods of Duncan’s roughly 60 workers, contrary to rumors swirling last week as word of the deal moved through the Duncan plant.
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Drew Industries Inc. announced that its wholly owned subsidiary, Lippert Components Inc. (LCI), has acquired certain assets and the business of Duncan Systems Inc. which, like Drew and Lippert, is based in Elkhart, Ind.
Duncan Systems is a distributor of replacement motorhome windshields; RV, heavy truck and specialty vehicle glass and windows; and awnings — primarily to fulfill insurance claims. Sales of the acquired business for the 12 months ended July 2014 were approximately $26 million. LCI estimates the aftermarket for the products it currently sells is in excess of $350 million.
“Consistent with our long-term strategic plan, in the past few years we have increased our sales of aftermarket replacement parts to warehouse distributors and retail RV dealers, as well as through our online store,” said Drew President Scott Mereness. “Acquiring Duncan Systems, in addition to expected synergies, opens up a new aftermarket channel for us, enabling us to fulfill insurance claims for replacement parts. There are an estimated 9 million RVs on the road, creating a significant market opportunity for many of LCI’s products, and we want to be there with solutions for consumers at every stage of RV ownership. Further, we believe the additional relationships that Duncan Systems has in the heavy trucking and specialty vehicle markets, as well as the broadened customer base of existing RV owners, will help accelerate LCI’s aftermarket growth.”
The purchase price was $18 million, which was paid at closing from borrowings under the company’s $75 million line of credit, plus contingent consideration based on future sales. Drew expects the acquisition to be immediately accretive to earnings.
Brent Watson, president of Duncan Systems, entered into an employment agreement with LCI and will continue to manage the business going forward. “It really couldn’t be a better fit,” said Watson. “We are confident Lippert Components will invest in the business for the long term and strategically drive the business forward, as well as provide the opportunity to supply our existing customers with a broader line of replacement parts. For instance, our heavy trucking customers often need replacement mattresses, and joining the LCI team will allow us to offer an impressive range of mattresses, among other time-tested products.”