SOUTHLAKE, Texas, and ROCHESTER HILLS, Mich., Sept. 4, 2007 – Insight Equity I L.P. (“Insight Equity”), the Dallas, Texas-area private equity firm, and DURA Automotive Systems, Inc. (OTC: DRRAQ) announced the close of the sale of DURA’s Atwood Mobile Products division to Insight Equity I L.P for $160.2 million. Insight Equity made the acquisition through Atwood Mobile Products LLC (f/k/a Atwood Acquisition Co., LLC), the investment vehicle Insight created for the acquisition of Atwood, the nation’s leading independent manufacturer of gas appliances, windows, doors, electronics and hardware to the Recreation Vehicle (RV) industry.
Ted Beneski, Managing Partner and CEO of Insight Equity said, “We are excited to add Atwood Mobile Products to the Insight Equity portfolio. Our vision for the future is to continue to build the company into the industry’s leading manufacturer of RV components.”
With approximately $330 million in 2006 sales, Atwood Mobile Products designs and manufactures furnaces, water heaters, ranges, hardware, windows and doors, and electronics for use in RVs, manufactured homes, specialty trailers, and other vehicles. Headquartered in Elkhart, IN, Atwood serves hundreds of customers through nine plants located in Tennessee, Utah, Ohio, Iowa and Indiana.
Atwood provides the most extensive product line of any supplier to the recreation vehicle industry. More than 90 percent of the recreation vehicles on the road today use Atwood products. The RV industry has experienced strong growth historically, with RV ownership currently at record levels. Industry trends point toward significant future growth as well due to favorable population demographics and increasing interest in RV’s.
“Atwood is a profitable business poised for growth with Insight Equity,” said Larry Denton, DURA’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “This divestiture allows DURA to focus on its core automotive parts business while we position DURA for long-term success and emergence from Chapter 11 this year.”
Insight Equity Principal Conner Searcy noted, “While the financing markets were as difficult as I have ever seen them, Insight Equity delivered on its original commitment to purchase Atwood for $160.2 million through Dura’s 363 bankruptcy sale process. This is a testament to Insight Equity’s ability to get difficult transactions done while other buyout firms are pulling back from the market and walking away from deals.”
For the operationally focused private equity firm, Eliot Kerlin, a Vice President with Insight Equity, observed, “Atwood is a classic Insight Equity acquisition – strong strategic positioning and a well-known platform in its industry, yet with significant operational and growth opportunities ahead. We are excited to partner with the Company’s employees as we begin a ‘new day’ at Atwood”. Atwood is the eighth acquisition in Insight Equity’s current fund, which closed in July 2005. Atwood also represents the 4th investment Insight Equity has made during the last eleven months in domestic transportation manufacturing companies. DURA was advised by Miller Buckfire, AlixPartners and Kirkland & Ellis in connection with this transaction. Insight Equity was represented by Hunton & Williams.
About Atwood Mobile Products LLC
Atwood is a leading designer and manufacturer of a broad range of window, glass, aluminum, appliance and electronic products for recreation vehicles (RVs), specialty vehicles, manufactured housing and associated niche markets. Atwood’s core products include windows, doors, specialty glass products, water heaters, furnaces, ranges, electronic control systems, converters and seating systems designed to meet specific customer demands. Atwood provides its comprehensive product line to a diverse set of customers including market leaders Thor Industries, Fleetwood, Jayco, Gulfstream, Winnebago, Freightliner and Leer. Recognized as a leading supplier to the RV, specialty vehicle and manufactured housing industries, Atwood markets its products under its well-recognized Atwood, Creation, Kemberly, Wedgewood, Spec-Temp, Duraleg and Levelegs brands. Headquartered in Elkhart, Indiana, Atwood has approximately 1,900 employees.
About Insight Equity
Dallas-based Insight Equity, is currently investing its $280M buyout fund. Insight makes controlling investments in strategically viable, middle market, asset intensive companies across a wide range of industries. Insight specializes in partnering with companies in complex and challenging situations, including corporate divestitures, bankruptcies, restructurings, and private family ownership. The firm leverages a proven collaborative value creation model to facilitate operating enhancements and growth.
About DURA Automotive Systems, Inc. DURA Automotive Systems, Inc., is a leading independent designer and manufacturer of driver control systems, seating control systems, glass systems, engineered assemblies, structural door modules and exterior trim systems for the global automotive industry. The company is also a leading supplier of similar products to the recreation vehicle (RV) and specialty vehicle industries. DURA markets its automotive products to every North American, Asian and European original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and many leading Tier 1 automotive suppliers. DURA is headquartered in Rochester Hills, Mich.