Methode Announces Definitive Agreement To Acquire Grakon

Methode Announces Definitive Agreement To Acquire Grakon

The acquisition will diversify Methode’s business, expanding into the commercial vehicles market, and will expand lighting and electric vehicle offerings.

Methode Electronics, a global developer of custom engineered and application-specific products and solutions, has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Grakon Parent Inc., a leader in the design, development and manufacture of advanced lighting systems, controls and components for premier OEM manufacturers in the heavy truck, bus, rail, electric vehicle and power sports markets. For the trailing 12 months as of July 31, 2018, Grakon’s revenue was approximately $159 million and EBITDA was approximately $41 million.

Excluding pre-tax costs related to the transaction, Methode expects the acquisition to be accretive to earnings, inclusive of estimated amortization and interest expense of $15 million to $20 million, in its current fiscal year ending April 27, 2019. Methode expects to fund the total consideration of approximately $420 million with a combination of cash on hand and committed debt financing.

The company says it intends to utilize approximately $140 million of cash on hand and has entered into a debt commitment agreement with certain lenders, pursuant to which the lenders have committed to make available to Methode at closing a $250 million term loan facility and a $200 million revolving credit facility, which will replace Methode’s existing revolving credit facility. The transaction is not subject to a financing condition.

Grakon has provided customized lighting solutions to the transportation industry for more than 40 years. The company’s expertise and innovative designs have led to a preferred supplier status among its OEM customers in Asia, Australia, Europe and the Americas. Grakon delivers interior lighting expertise, as well as exterior lighting systems that enhance vehicle styling, improve safety and eliminate equipment downtime. The company’s top 10 commercial vehicle customers have an average tenure of more than 19 years, with its newest customer being Tesla. With three facilities in North America, two in Europe and two in Asia, Grakon has more than 1,200 employees, including more than 100 engineers.

Methode’s president and CEO, Donald Duda, said, “Grakon will enhance our product line, diversify our business mix into new end-markets and allow us to serve a broadly expanded universe of customers. The company has developed an extensive array of lighting and electronic controls uniquely engineered for diverse and growing transportation applications. Grakon’s solutions align with global trends including increasing LED adoption and advanced driver assistance, while providing differentiation and critical functionality. This transaction furthers our objective of pursuing strategic acquisitions where we can leverage our core competencies and provide an attractive value proposition for our shareholders.”

Methode anticipates pre-tax acquisition and related costs in the range of $23 million to $26 million, which include financing, legal, insurance, due diligence, environmental and financial advisory expenses and the impact of performance-based stock award amortization. The company says it expects to update its fiscal 2019 guidance to include the acquisition of Grakon when the third-party valuation is finalized, a further analysis of projected income is complete and transaction costs are settled.

The acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions, including expiration of applicable waiting periods under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976. The transaction is expected to be completed in September 2018.

Foros acted as financial adviser to Methode. Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz served as Methode’s outside legal counsel.

Baird acted as financial adviser to Grakon. Kirkland & Ellis LLP served as Grakon’s outside legal counsel.

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