Oak Hill’s Acquisition of Safe Fleet


UBS Investment Bank served as financial advisor to Oak Hill in connection with the transaction. Goldman Sachs Bank USA, UBS Securities LLC, and Morgan Stanley Senior Funding, Inc. have underwritten and will arrange first and second lien financing in connection with the transaction. Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC and Harris Williams & Co. served as financial advisors to Safe Fleet in connection with the transaction. Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP is serving as legal counsel to Oak Hill. Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP is serving as legal counsel to Safe Fleet and Sterling.

Safe Fleet Holdings, LLC, the market-leading provider of safety and productivity solutions for fleet vehicles, has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by Oak Hill Capital Partners. Under the terms of the agreement, Oak Hill will acquire the Company from its current owner, The Sterling Group.

The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2018 and represents the seventh investment in the Oak Hill Capital Partners IV portfolio.

Headquartered in Belton, MO, Safe Fleet owns a portfolio of brands that provide safety and productivity solutions to fleet vehicle manufacturers and operators around the world. These brands serve several major markets including: Bus, Rail, RV, Truck & Trailer, Work Truck, Law Enforcement, Emergency, Waste, Industrial, and Military. With over 1,200 employees and 11 manufacturing locations, Safe Fleet targets markets with increasing demand for operator, passenger, and pedestrian safety.

Oak Hill is a private equity firm managing funds with more than $10 billion of initial capital commitments since inception from leading global endowments and foundations, public and corporate pension plans, sovereign wealth funds, insurance companies, financial institutions, consultants, and family offices. Over the past 30 years, the professionals at Oak Hill and its predecessors have invested in over 85 significant private equity transactions across broad segments of the U.S. and global economies. Oak Hill applies an industry-focused, theme-based approach to investing in the following sectors: Industrials; Consumer, Retail & Distribution; Media & Communications; and Services.

Founded in 1982, Sterling is a private equity investment firm that targets controlling interests in basic manufacturing, distribution and industrial services companies. Typical enterprise values of these companies range from $100 million to $750 million. Sterling has sponsored the buyout of 52 platform companies and numerous add-on acquisitions for a total transaction value of over $10.0 billion. Currently, Sterling has over $2.2 billion of assets under management.

The Paul, Weiss team included corporate partners Brian Lavin (Picture), Eric Goodison, Angelo Bonvino and John Kennedy and counsel Lindsey Wiersma; employee benefits partners Andrew Gaines and Robert Fleder and counsel Uri Horowitz; tax partner David Sicular; real estate partner Mitchell Berg; intellectual property partner Chuck Googe; environmental counsel William O’Brien; and antitrust counsel Marta Kelly.

Involved fees earner: Brian Lavin – Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison; Angelo Bonvino – Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison; John Kennedy – Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison; Eric Goodison – Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison; Lindsey Wiersma – Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison; Andrew Gaines – Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison; Robert Fleder – Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison; Uri Horowitz – Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison; David Sicular – Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison; Mitchell Berg – Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison; Charles Googe – Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison; William O’Brien – Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison; Marta Kelly – Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison;

Law Firms: Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison;

Clients: Oak Hill Capital Partners;

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Author: Ambrogio Visconti