Safe Fleet Forms Commercial Vehicle Division

Bonham to lead strategically aligned Truck & Trailer and Work Truck business units

Belton, MO (December 10, 2018) – Safe Fleet is pleased to announce the combination of two important business units, Truck & Trailer and Work Truck, into a unified Commercial Vehicle (CV) division. Effective immediately, Wm. Craig Bonham, former Vice President of Work Truck, is promoted to Vice President of Commercial Vehicle and will lead the new division. Under Bonham’s leadership, the business resources and goals of both units are strategically aligned to deliver a best-in-class customer experience to the commercial vehicle fleet market with integrated fleet safety solutions.

The new division strategically positions Safe Fleet to seamlessly service Class 2 through 8 fleet vehicles with products from its entire portfolio of industry-leading fleet safety brands such as American Van, Prime Design, ROM, Randall, and Bustin. Fleets of all shapes and sizes, including mixed vehicle fleets and those pursuing “Last Mile” opportunities can depend on Safe Fleet’s Commercial Vehicle Division to support their fleet safety needs.

“I’m excited about the opportunity to lead a dedicated group of industry safety experts in better serving the needs of Commercial Vehicle fleets, today and into the future,” adds Bonham.  “We look forward to being a true Fleet Safety advisor for the Commercial Vehicle market.”

Bonham joined Safe Fleet in 2017 from Reading Truck body and is an industry veteran in commercial truck and van equipment.

Bob Shupp, Senior Vice President of Operations, Supply Chain & Strategic Initiatives, has served as the interim business unit Vice President for Truck & Trailer since April 2018. Shupp will return immediately in full capacity to his Operations, Supply Chain, and Strategic Initiative duties for Safe Fleet.

Ross Haith Jr. joins Safe Fleet Work Truck Division

New Vice President of Business Development to lead strategic business growth for Work Truck Division

Belton, MO (June 14, 2018) – Safe Fleet is pleased to announce the addition of Ross Haith Jr. to the Safe Fleet family. Ross joins Safe Fleet in the role of Vice President of Business Development for the Work Truck division. In this role, he will be responsible for leading the development and execution of a strategic plan for business growth.

Ross brings over 25 years of sales and executive leadership experience, primarily within the Work Truck industry, to Safe Fleet. Most recently, Ross was President of Leggett & Platt’s Commercial Vehicle Product Group. Prior to his 10 years with Leggett & Platt, Ross spent nearly 15 years in various sales and marketing roles at the Ford Motor Company.

“Ross’s diverse background driving results at various levels within a highly competitive automotive industry will do nothing but complement and enhance the progression of our journey at Safe Fleet,” added Craig Bonham, Vice President of Work Truck. “His reputation for leading teams to achieve top results and unrivaled standards of excellence make him the ideal candidate for Safe Fleet.”

Ross holds a bachelor’s degree in Finance from Morehouse College and a Master’s degree in Business Administration (MBA) from The University of Baltimore. He is involved and a member of many industry groups including NTEA (National Truck Equipment Association), AFLA (Automotive Fleet & Leasing Association), and NAFA (North American Fleet Managers Association).

About Safe Fleet

Headquartered in Belton, MO, Safe Fleet owns a portfolio of brands that provide safety and productivity solutions to fleet vehicle manufacturers and operators around the world. These brands serve several major markets including Bus, Rail, RV, Truck & Trailer, Work Truck, Law Enforcement, Emergency, Waste, Industrial, and Military. Safe Fleet’s Work Truck business unit delivers safety and productivity solutions, such as ergonomic ladder racks, access platforms, and video and telematics applications, to the work truck industry from leading Safe Fleet brands such as Prime Design, American Van, ROM, FRC, Bustin, RVS Systems, and Seon. With over 1,200 employees and 11 manufacturing locations, Safe Fleet targets markets with increasing demand for operator, passenger, and pedestrian safety. For more information about Safe Fleet and its portfolio of brands, please visit www.safefleet.net.  Safe Fleet is a portfolio company of Oak Hill Capital Partners.

About Oak Hill Capital Partners

Oak Hill is a private equity firm managing funds with more than $10 billion of initial capital commitments since inception from leading global endowments and foundations, public and corporate pension plans, sovereign wealth funds, insurance companies, financial institutions, consultants, and family offices. Over the past 30 years, the professionals at Oak Hill and its predecessors have invested in over 85 significant private equity transactions across broad segments of the U.S. and global economies. Oak Hill applies an industry-focused, theme-based approach to investing in the following sectors: Industrials; Consumer, Retail & Distribution; Media & Communications; and Services. Oak Hill works actively in partnership with management to implement strategic and operational initiatives to create franchise value. For more information, please visit www.oakhillcapital.com.

Safe Fleet and American Van Equipment Acquisition Closing

May 23, 2018 – Safe Fleet, a leading global provider of safety and productivity solutions for fleet vehicles, is pleased to announce it has closed on its previously announced acquisition of American Van Equipment (“American Van”).

American Van is a leading manufacturer and distributor of van and truck shelving, storage systems, and accessories, producing high quality interior and exterior components that help improve worker productivity and vehicle safety. Based out of Lakewood, NJ, American Van services a wide variety of contractors and fleets directly through its comprehensive online presence, catalog distribution (with over 2.5 million copies mailed quarterly), and three showroom facilities.

With the addition of American Van, Safe Fleet Work Truck now offers a comprehensive service and product portfolio of interior, exterior, video, lighting and technology solutions serving contractors, commercial fleets, fleet management companies and OEMs across
a variety of vehicle classes.

Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Current management of American Van will continue with the business going forward and operate within Safe Fleet Work Truck.

Safe Fleet to Acquire American Van Equipment

Expands Safe Fleet product portfolio and positions Work Truck division as a solutions provider to the Work Truck Industry.

Belton, MO – May 11, 2018 – Safe Fleet, a leading global provider of safety and productivity solutions for fleet vehicles, is pleased to announce it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire American Van Equipment (“American Van”).

American Van is a leading manufacturer and distributor of van and truck shelving, storage systems, and accessories, producing high quality interior and exterior components that help improve worker productivity and vehicle safety.  Based out of Lakewood, NJ, American Van services a wide variety of contractors and fleets directly through its comprehensive online presence, catalog distribution (with over 2.5 million copies mailed quarterly), and three showroom facilities.

“We are ecstatic about the addition of American Van to Safe Fleet Work Truck,” said John Knox, Chairman, President & CEO, Safe Fleet.  “The product fit, customer reach, and upfitter capabilities American Van brings to Safe Fleet Work Truck are game-changing. The acquisition will solidify Safe Fleet’s position within the Work Truck industry as the preeminent provider of safety and productivity solutions.”

“Joining Safe Fleet is a tremendous growth opportunity for the American Van family of products and employees,” said Chuck Richter, President, American Van.  “Partnering with Safe Fleet will provide American Van the ability to enhance the legacy of our brand and enable growth to better serve contractors, business and fleet owners throughout North America.”  Current management of American Van will continue with the business going forward and operate within Safe Fleet Work Truck.

“The addition of American Van into Safe Fleet Work Truck exemplifies another step in Safe Fleet’s journey in building out the leading safety and productivity company for fleet vehicles across a variety of end-markets with leading brands and products,” stated John Knox. “With Prime Design and American Van, we have joined together two iconic brands to provide a complete range of solutions to address both the exterior and interior needs of truck and van upfit customers.”

About Safe Fleet

Headquartered in Belton, MO, Safe Fleet owns a portfolio of brands that provide safety and productivity solutions to fleet vehicle manufacturers and operators around the world. These brands serve several major markets including: Bus, Rail, RV, Truck & Trailer, Work Truck, Law Enforcement, Emergency, Waste, Industrial, and Military. Safe Fleet’s Work Truck business unit delivers safety and productivity solutions, such as ergonomic ladder racks, access platforms, and video and telematics applications, to the work truck industry from leading Safe Fleet brands such as Prime Design, Randall Manufacturing, ROM, FRC, Bustin, RVS Systems, and Seon. With over 1,300 employees and 11 manufacturing locations, Safe Fleet targets markets with increasing demand for operator, passenger, and pedestrian safety. For more information about Safe Fleet and its portfolio of brands, please visit www.safefleet.net.  Safe Fleet is a portfolio company of Oak Hill Capital Partners.

About American Van Equipment

Headquartered in Lakewood, NJ, American Van Equipment began manufacturing and supplying local companies with ladder racks and van shelving in 1978.  American Van operates three showrooms, has a robust online presence at AmericanVan.com and mails millions of catalogs annually to contractors and business owners all across the United States, offering practical storage solutions for vans and trucks. Unlike most catalog/retailers, it also manufactures most of the products it sells.

About Oak Hill Capital Partners

Oak Hill is a private equity firm managing funds with more than $10 billion of capital commitments since inception from leading global endowments and foundations, public and corporate pension plans, sovereign wealth funds, insurance companies, financial institutions, consultants, and family offices.  Over the past 30 years, the professionals at Oak Hill and its predecessors have invested in over 85 significant private equity transactions across broad segments of the U.S. and global economies.  Oak Hill applies an industry-focused, theme-based approach to investing in the following sectors: Industrials; Consumer, Retail & Distribution; Media & Communications; and Services. Oak Hill works actively in partnership with management to implement strategic and operational initiatives to create franchise value. For more information, please visit www.oakhillcapital.com.

 

Oak Hill Capital Partners to Acquire Safe Fleet

Belton, MO – January 9, 2018 – Safe Fleet Holdings, LLC (“Safe Fleet” or “the Company”), the market-leading provider of safety and productivity solutions for fleet vehicles, announced today that it has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by Oak Hill Capital Partners (“Oak Hill”). Under the terms of the agreement, Oak Hill will acquire the Company from its current owner, The Sterling Group (“Sterling”).

“We have tremendous respect for what Safe Fleet has accomplished. The Company has built a unique and growing portfolio of market-leading safety and productivity solutions,” said Brian Cherry, a Partner at Oak Hill. “We are excited to partner with Safe Fleet to support the Company through its next phase of development, as it continues to grow both organically and through strategic acquisitions.”

John Rachwalski, a Partner at Oak Hill, added, “Safe Fleet represents an exceptional opportunity to invest in a leader in specialized, niche markets supported by attractive secular tailwinds. We are delighted to work with the Company’s talented management team to continue to build the Safe Fleet platform.”

“Sterling and a strong management team led by John Knox have transformed the business strategically, operationally, and commercially from two small component suppliers to a leader in safety solutions for fleet vehicles,” said Gary Rosenthal, a Partner at Sterling and Chairman of Safe Fleet’s Board of Directors. “The creation and sale of Safe Fleet, a business that didn’t exist before Sterling’s initial acquisitions, is a case study in how Sterling rapidly implements its improvement strategies to build winning businesses.”

“Sterling and the Safe Fleet team successfully executed our shared vision to create a leading safety solutions company serving an expanding group of fleet customers,” said John Knox, President and Chief Executive Officer of Safe Fleet. “We believe our new partnership with Oak Hill, a firm that shares our culture of collaborative engagement and continuous improvement, will even further accelerate Safe Fleet’s growth trajectory as a highly differentiated safety and productivity solutions platform.”

The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2018 and represents the seventh investment in the Oak Hill Capital Partners IV portfolio.

UBS Investment Bank served as financial advisor to Oak Hill in connection with the transaction. Goldman Sachs Bank USA, UBS Securities LLC, and Morgan Stanley Senior Funding, Inc. have underwritten and will arrange first and second lien financing in connection with the transaction. Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC and Harris Williams & Co. served as financial advisors to Safe Fleet in connection with the transaction. Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP is serving as legal counsel to Oak Hill. Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP is serving as legal counsel to Safe Fleet and Sterling.

About Safe Fleet

Headquartered in Belton, MO, Safe Fleet owns a portfolio of brands that provide safety and productivity solutions to fleet vehicle manufacturers and operators around the world. These brands serve several major markets including: Bus, Rail, RV, Truck & Trailer, Work Truck, Law Enforcement, Emergency, Waste, Industrial, and Military. With over 1,200 employees and 11 manufacturing locations, Safe Fleet targets markets with increasing demand for operator, passenger, and pedestrian safety. For more information about Safe Fleet and its portfolio of brands, please visit www.safefleet.net.

About Oak Hill Capital Partners

Oak Hill is a private equity firm managing funds with more than $10 billion of initial capital commitments since inception from leading global endowments and foundations, public and corporate pension plans, sovereign wealth funds, insurance companies, financial institutions, consultants, and family offices. Over the past 30 years, the professionals at Oak Hill and its predecessors have invested in over 85 significant private equity transactions across broad segments of the U.S. and global economies. Oak Hill applies an industry-focused, theme-based approach to investing in the following sectors: Industrials; Consumer, Retail & Distribution; Media & Communications; and Services. Oak Hill works actively in partnership with management to implement strategic and operational initiatives to create franchise value. For more information, please visit www.oakhillcapital.com.

About The Sterling Group

Founded in 1982, Sterling is a private equity investment firm that targets controlling interests in basic manufacturing, distribution and industrial services companies. Typical enterprise values of these companies range from $100 million to $750 million. Sterling has sponsored the buyout of 52 platform companies and numerous add-on acquisitions for a total transaction value of over $10.0 billion. Currently, Sterling has over $2.2 billion of assets under management. For further information, please visit www.sterling-group.com.

Forward-Looking Statements

Statements included herein may constitute “forward-looking statements”, which relate to future events, the future performance, or financial condition of Safe Fleet following the acquisition of Safe Fleet by Oak Hill. These statements are not guarantees of future performance, condition, or results and involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Actual results and condition may differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements as a result of a number of factors.

Oak Hill Capital Partners Media Contact:                                                                   

Kekst & Company
Jeremy Fielding / Aduke Thelwell
+1 (212) 521-4800 / + (212) 521-4837