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The Sterling Group completes acquisition of Dexter Axle from Tomkins Industries

MIddle market private equity firm The Sterling Group has completed the acquisition of the Dexter Axle business from Tomkins Industries, a subsidiary of Pinafore Holdings. 

The investment is Sterling's fourth investment in its third fund, an USD820 million fund raised in 2010. Dexter is the second business Sterling has acquired from Tomkins in the last fourteen months.

Dexter is a leading designer and manufacturer of trailer axle, brake, and suspension assemblies and related replacement parts and components for use primarily in the industrial and utility trailer and RV markets in North America. "For over 50 years, Dexter has provided customers with the highest quality axles in the industry," says Adam Dexter, CEO of Dexter. "The entire team is thrilled by Sterling's support of our business, our culture, and our commitment to delivering the best customer service and product quality in the trailer running gear market."

During its thirty year history, Sterling has sponsored the carve-out of 22 businesses from larger corporate parents, including multiple acquisitions from DuPont, British Petroleum and Tomkins. "We are excited about the opportunity to draw on our deep experience with corporate carve-outs to transition Dexter to a stand-alone business," said Kevin Garland, Partner at The Sterling Group. "We look forward to partnering closely with management to achieve new levels of profitability and create value for all shareholders."

The acquisition was financed with equity from Sterling Group Partners III and several other co-investors. Senior debt financing was arranged by BNP Paribas and mezzanine debt was provided by Hancock Capital Management and Fifth Street Capital.

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