BETHESDA, MD — American Capital Strategies Ltd., a publicly-traded buyout fund, has invested $33 million in Qualitor Inc., a diversified automotive aftermarket parts manufacturer.
Founded in 1999, Southfield, Mich.-based Qualitor manufactures application-specific wear products, including brake components, wiper blades, engine control devices and heavy duty truck parts. The company has eight manufacturing, distribution and storage facilities in Connecticut, Florida, Michigan and Ohio and employs nearly 800 people.
American Capital’s investment in Qualitor takes the form of senior and junior subordinated debt and preferred and common equity. A syndicate of lenders led by Antares Capital Corp. is investing in a revolving credit facility, senior term loans and a second lien term loan. Thayer Capital Partners is the lead investor and majority owner in Qualitor with Baird Capital Partners playing an active supporting role in the transaction.
American Capital Managing Director David Ehrenfest Steinglass said Qualitor has strong market share across its product lines, creating a strong position in the market. “The company’s unique attributes in each major product category, including rapid turnaround times, reliable fulfillment capabilities and outstanding design and reverse engineering capabilities, create a sustainable leading market position,” said Steinglass. “As the automotive aftermarket experiences stable, accelerating growth trends resulting from increasing vehicle miles driven and a higher proportion of SUVs and trucks on the road, Qualitor can expect an increase in demand for its line of replacement wear products.”
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