Asahi Kasei Corporation’s Acquisition of Sage Automotive Interiors


Kirkland & Ellis LLP represented Clearlake Capital Group, L.P. in its entry into a definitive agreement for the sale of Sage Automotive Interiors, Inc., a leading global supplier of specialty designed, high-performance technical textiles and premium fabrics for the automotive industry.

Clearlake Capital Group, L.P. executed a definitive agreement to sell Sage Automotive Interiors (“Sage” or the “Company”) to an affiliate of Asahi Kasei Corporation (TSE: 3407, “Asahi Kasei”). The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals.

Sage is a leading global supplier of specialty designed, high-performance technical textiles and microfiber suedes for the automotive industry.

During Clearlake’s four-year ownership, Sage executed on an investment thesis focused on transforming the Company into a diversified global platform. In partnership with management, Clearlake implemented its O.P.S.® framework. Organic growth initiatives at Sage focused on expanding the Company’s product offering and sales reach in Europe and Asia. These were supplemented by successfully executing on several strategic acquisitions, including the acquisitions of Miko S.r.l. and Apollo S.p.A. in Italy, which enabled the Company to expand its technical capabilities, product offerings, European manufacturing resources and further penetrated key OEM customers. In addition, the Company invested further in its Sage Wuhan joint venture in China to drive more rapid growth in Asia.

The combination of these organic and inorganic initiatives drove Sage’s significant expansion and growth during its partnership with Clearlake.

The Kirkland team was led by corporate partners Luke Guerra (Picture) and Hamed Meshki and included associates Bianca Levin-Soler, Paige Scheckla and Michael Chung; tax partners Russell Light and Josh McLane and associate Joe Tobias; debt finance partners David Nemecek and Brian Ford and associate Paul Rezvani; technology and intellectual property transactions partner Vladimir Khodosh and associate Preeta Reddy; executive compensation partner Jennifer Pepin and associate Ian Sherwin; environmental transactions partner Stefanie Gitler and associate Carleigh Rodriguez; employee benefits of counsel Jack Bernstein and associate Chris Chase; labor and employment partners Matthew Keiser and Michael Schulman; real estate partner John Caruso; international trade partner Mario Mancuso and associate Luci Hague; and antitrust partners Carla A.R. Hine and Marin Boney and of counsel Mike Robert-Smith.

Involved fees earner: Luke Guerra – Kirkland & Ellis; Hamed Meshki – Kirkland & Ellis; Bianca Levin-Soler – Kirkland & Ellis; Paige Scheckla – Kirkland & Ellis; Michael Chung – Kirkland & Ellis; Russell Light – Kirkland & Ellis; Josh McLane – Kirkland & Ellis; Joe Tobias – Kirkland & Ellis; David Nemecek – Kirkland & Ellis; Brian Ford – Kirkland & Ellis; Paul Rezvani – Kirkland & Ellis; Vladimir Khodosh – Kirkland & Ellis; Preeta Reddy – Kirkland & Ellis; Jennifer Pepin – Kirkland & Ellis; Ian Sherwin – Kirkland & Ellis; Jack Bernstein – Kirkland & Ellis; Chris Chase – Kirkland & Ellis; Matthew Keiser – Kirkland & Ellis; Michael Schulman – Kirkland & Ellis; Stefanie Gitler – Kirkland & Ellis; Carleigh Rodriguez – Kirkland & Ellis; John Caruso – Kirkland & Ellis; Mario Mancuso – Kirkland & Ellis; Lucille Hague – Kirkland & Ellis; Carla Hine – Kirkland & Ellis; Marin Boney – Kirkland & Ellis; Mike Robert-Smith – Kirkland & Ellis;

Law Firms: Kirkland & Ellis;

Clients: Clearlake Capital Group, L.P.;

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Author: Ambrogio Visconti