Friend Skoler Announces Investment in Accessories Marketing
SADDLE BROOK, NEW JERSEY, December 11, 2006 -- Friend Skoler & Co., Inc., a private equity firm that invests in leading companies in the smaller end of the middle market, announced today that it has completed an investment in Accessories Marketing, Inc. Accessories Marketing, Inc. (“AMI”) is a leading manufacturer and marketer of flat tire prevention and repair products and tire care accessories. AMI’s products are marketed under the Slime™ brand name and are sold in over 50,000 retail locations worldwide. AMI CEO Jim Cegelski, Executive Vice President Rodney Cegelski and members of management are also investing in the equity of the company.
Founded in 1993 by Steve and Jim Cegelski, AMI’s product offering includes liquid tire sealants, tire repair accessories, tire tubes pre-filled with Slime™ sealant, and Smart Spair™ flat tire repair kits. AMI’s flagship product, Slime™ tire sealant, is the leading liquid tire sealant in the U.S. retail market and is widely recognized as a result of an aggressive marketing campaign and its trademarked green color. AMI’s Slime™ branded products are distributed throughout the U.S. by leading retailers in the automotive specialty, mass merchant, hardware, lawn & garden, sporting goods, bicycle and powersport markets.
“We are excited to be partnering with the Cegelski family and the talented Slime management team to build on AMI’s position of market leadership in the tire care category,” said Alexander Friend, a Managing Director of Friend Skoler & Co. “AMI management has established Slime as a leading brand across multiple distribution channels by providing retailers and consumers with premium, innovative products and outstanding customer service. The company is well positioned for continued growth, and we are pleased that Jim and Rodney Cegelski will continue to lead that effort. We also want to acknowledge the accomplishments of Steve Cegelski in pioneering the liquid tire sealant category, and we look forward to maintaining a consulting relationship with Steve and receiving his assistance on key development projects.”
Jim Cegelski, co-founder and CEO of AMI, added: “The entire management team is enthusiastic about the company’s future, and the partnership with Friend Skoler will allow us to leverage their experience with branded consumer product and automotive aftermarket companies. Friend Skoler demonstrated a clear appreciation for our corporate culture, and we believe they are a great long term partner for this management team.”
CIT led the senior debt financing for the transaction and also made an equity investment in the company. National City Equity Partners provided the subordinated debt for the transaction. The AMI investment is the fourth platform transaction by Friend Skoler Equity Investors, L.P., which closed in April 2004 with $231 million of capital commitments.
About Friend Skoler & Co., Inc.
Founded in 1998, Friend Skoler & Co., Inc. is a private equity firm that invests in leading companies in the smaller end of the middle market in partnership with management. FSC typically invests between $10 million and $40 million of equity per transaction and manages Friend Skoler Equity Investors, L.P., a private equity fund with $231 million of capital commitments. A key element of the fund’s strategy is to leverage the firm’s extensive experience as investors in and operators of middle market companies. Friend Skoler is headquartered in Saddle Brook, NJ. For additional information, please visit www.friendskoler.com.
About Accessories Marketing, Inc.
Headquartered in Grover Beach, California, AMI is a leading manufacturer and marketer of flat tire prevention and repair products and tire care accessories. AMI’s products are marketed under the Slime™ brand name and are sold in over 50,000 retail locations worldwide.
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