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Friend Skoler & Co. Announces Sale of Hopkins to ONCAP


SADDLE BROOK, NEW JERSEY, June 6, 2011 -- Friend Skoler & Co., a private equity firm that invests in leading middle market companies, announced today the sale of Hopkins Manufacturing Corp. to ONCAP Management Partners L.P., Onex Corporation’s dedicated mid-market private equity platform.  The transaction closed on June 3, 2011.


Headquartered in Emporia, Kansas, Hopkins is a leading designer, manufacturer and marketer of proprietary branded products for the automotive and RV aftermarkets.  The Company’s products are sold under brand names that include Hopkins Towing Solutions®, Carrand™, SubZero®, BrakeBuddy®, FloTool®, GoGear®, nVISION®, and Juice Performance™, as well as under the exclusively licensed Turtle Wax® brand. 


Friend Skoler purchased Hopkins in partnership with the Company’s management in July 2004.    During its ownership of the Company, Friend Skoler worked closely with management to execute various growth strategies that included the introduction of new products, entrance into new product categories and the acquisition of Carrand Companies in 2005.   


“Hopkins is a clear leader in the automotive aftermarket, and we greatly enjoyed our partnership with the talented management team led by Brad Kraft,” said Alexander Friend, Managing Director of Friend Skoler & Co.  “During our ownership, the company increased market share through innovations in product engineering, packaging, and merchandising.  We are proud that Hopkins has been a valued supplier to the pre-eminent retailers in the automotive aftermarket,” added Steven Skoler, Managing Director of Friend Skoler & Co.     


About Friend Skoler & Co.


Friend Skoler is a private equity firm that invests in leading middle market companies with strong growth potential.  The firm typically invests between $10 million and $30 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


About Hopkins Manufacturing Corp.


Founded in 1953, Hopkins is a leading designer, manufacturer, distributor and marketer of innovative towing products and functional accessories for the automotive and recreational vehicle aftermarkets.  Headquartered in Emporia, Kansas, Hopkins also maintains locations in Carson, California; Juarez, Mexico; and Ningbo, China.  Hopkins markets its products to leading retailers under a number of leading brand names, including:  Hopkins Towing Solutions®; Sub-Zero® snow & ice tools; Carrand™ vehicle cleaning tools, soft goods, and powered products; GoGear® interior vehicle organizers and sun shades;  BrakeBuddy® auxiliary braking products; FloTool® fluid handling products, nVISION® electronic safety products; and Juice™ booster cables.  For more information about Hopkins, please


Alexander Friend
Friend Skoler & Co., Inc.



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