Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Local News

March 1, 2014

Lippert acquiring two companies

ELKHART — Drew Industries announces that subsidiary Lippert Components has acquired two companies.

In announcements Friday, the company said it has purchased Innovative Design Solutions Inc. of Troy, Mich. IDS designs, develops and manufactures electronic systems for recreational vehicles, the medical industry and other industries.

Lippert also has a tentative agreement to purchase Star Design LLC. of Elkhart, a manufacturer of thermoformed sheet plastic products for the RV, bus and specialty vehicle industries. That purchase is anticipated to take place within 30 days and is subject to completion of due diligence, agreement on final terms, the execution of definitive transaction documents and satisfaction of customary closing conditions, according to Drew. The purchase price will be approximately $12 million, which would be paid at closing from available cash and borrowings under the company’s $75 million line of credit.

“We are excited to have IDS and its employees join the Lippert Components family,” said Drew’s Chief Executive Officer Jason Lippert. “The talented team of engineers we have added from IDS are leaders in electronic systems for RVs and other industries. In the past several years, the IDS team, alongside the Lippert Components team, has been responsible for developing unique electronic products for the RV industry. IDS will now have an even sharper focus on developing innovative products for our RV customers, as well as customers in adjacent industries.”

IDS had annual sales of approximately $19 million in 2013, of which $13 million were to Lippert Components. The purchase price was $36 million, of which $34.2 million was paid at closing from available cash and borrowings, with the balance to be paid out annually over three years, plus contingent consideration based on future sales.

Rob Ford, former owner of IDS, will continue to manage the business.

Star Design

“Star Design has an excellent management team, and a great reputation in the markets they operate,” said Drew’s President Scott Mereness. “And we look forward to the Star Design management, including Kevin Gipson, president of Star Design, continuing to serve existing customers after the transaction is completed. In 2013 we relocated our RV thermoforming plastic production from Texas to an Elkhart, Ind., location large enough to accommodate expected growth. We have continued to grow our RV and specialty markets plastics business since then, and we are excited to boost further growth with the acquisition of Star Design.”

Star Design has annual sales of approximately $10 million, according to Drew’s statement.

Star Design Chairman Kelly Rose will not remain with the business.

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