Hopkins Manufacturing Sold to Private Equity Firm - aftermarketNews

Hopkins Manufacturing Sold to Private Equity Firm

Emporia, Kan.-based Hopkins Manufacturing has been acquired by Friend Skoler & Co., LLC, a private equity firm that invests in leading companies in the smaller end of the middle market. Founded in 1953, Hopkins is a leading manufacturer of specialized towing products and functional accessories for the automotive and recreational vehicle aftermarkets. The company will continue under the management of Hopkins President Bradley Kraft and his senior management team, said Steven Skoler, managing partner of Friend Skoler & Co.

SADDLE BROOK, NJ — Emporia, Kan.-based Hopkins Manufacturing has been acquired by Friend Skoler & Co., LLC, a private equity firm that invests in leading companies in the smaller end of the middle market.

Founded in 1953, Hopkins is a leading manufacturer of specialized towing products and functional accessories for the automotive and recreational vehicle aftermarkets. Hopkins’ products include vehicle-to-trailer wiring and control accessories, RV supplemental tow brakes and a variety of automotive winter care, fluid handling, storage and organization and auto cleaning accessories. The company markets its products under the brand names Hoppy, TAP, LiteMate, BrakeBuddy, Spillmaster and FloTool.

According to Alexander Friend, managing partner of Friend Skoler & Co., Hopkins fits well with the firm’s investment criteria.

“The company has leading market positions in its core product categories, a diversified customer base and broad product offering, long standing customer relationships, and an outstanding management team,” said Friend. “In addition, the company is well positioned to benefit from favorable trends in the towing accessories segment that should drive organic growth in the future.”

The company will continue under the management of Hopkins President Bradley Kraft and his senior management team, said Steven Skoler, managing partner of Friend Skoler & Co.

The Hopkins acquisition marks the first transaction by Friend Skoler Equity Investors, L.P., which closed in April 2004 with $231 million of capital commitments.

To learn more about Friend Skoler, go to: http://www.friendskoler.com.

For more information about Hopkins, visit: www.hopkinsmfg.com.

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