INDUSTRY: Branded tire care and repair products
Friend Skoler's investment in Slime is a classic example of FSC's approach to partnering with management to support growth. FSC sponsored a recapitalization of Slime in December 2006 in partnership with the founding shareholders. A family-owned business, Slime was the leading manufacturer and marketer of flat tire prevention and repair products and tire care accessories, with distribution in over 50,000 retail locations worldwide. Slime's product offering included liquid tire sealants, tire repair accessories, tire tubes pre-filled with Slime sealant, and Smart Spair flat tire repair kits. Slime's flagship product, Slime tire sealant, was the leading liquid tire sealant in the U.S. retail market and was widely recognized as a result of an aggressive marketing campaign and its trademarked green color. Slime branded products were distributed throughout the U.S. by leading retailers in the automotive specialty, mass merchant, hardware, lawn & garden, sporting goods, bicycle and powersport markets.
In addition to providing growth capital to support anticipated revenue from new products and customers, FSC worked closely with management to refine the company's growth strategy, add key personnel, and develop go-forward branding strategies. FSC played a key role in the recruitment of a new Chief Financial Officer and VP of Operations, and assumed the interim CEO role while the company's CEO took medical leave. FSC supported management with the launch of several new product introductions, including the company's Quick Spair emergency tire inflator, and assisted with new customer negotiations and supply chain management. As a result, Slime established itself as the clear industry leader in the tire care solutions market, and entered the emerging OEM emergency flat tire repair market.
During FSC's ownership period, net sales increased 85% and EBITDA doubled. In April 2010 FSC sold Slime to Illinois Tool Works. As a result of the sale, FSC realized a 3.0x cash on cash return and a 47% internal rate of return during its three and one-half years of ownership.