Riverside Finalizes Dana Acquisitions –

Eighteen months after initial contact, The Riverside Company and Dana Corporation have come to terms. Riverside recently announced the acquisition of four entities for a total purchase price of $33 million.

Included in the deal are Tekonsha Engineering Company, which builds aftermarket braking equipment for the recreation, agricultural and trailer markets; the SurePull Products facility in Sheridan, Ark., which produces towing hitches and related accessories; Theodore Bargman Co., maker of lights, locks and latches for the automotive industry; and American Electronics Components Inc., which manufactures automotive electronic parts (see Buyouts, 11/18/02). In 2001, the four entities realized sales of $81 million.

Riverside plans to spin the four entities into two acquisitions: Tekonsha and SurePull will be added to Riverside’s HammerBlow Towing platform, and AEC and Bargman will be combined to create Riverside’s newest platform, dedicated to the automotive, truck and recreational vehicle markets. The addition of Tekonsha and SurePull to the HammerBlow platform will triple the platform’s EBITDA, according to Gosline.

Upon completion, these deals will bring Riverside’s yearly acquisition total to 12, and will bring the total amount of acquisitions with Riverside’s most recent fund to 18. The $412 million Riverside Capital Appreciation Fund 2000, closed in 2000, is Riverside’s third fund, and nearly three times the size of its first two funds combined.

Including the Dana acquisitions, Riverside has committed 40% of RCAF 2000, and, according to Tim Gosline, a partner at Riverside, the New York-based private equity firm plans to begin raising capital for a fourth fund in late 2003 or early 2004.