VB Airsuspension


Placed on 29/05/2018

Minority share of AL-KO Vehicle Technology in VB-Airsuspension will strengthen mutual growth

Varsseveld (NL) / Novi (MI-USA) / Kötz (D), May 2018

VB-Airsuspension, B.V, one of the world's leading developers and manufacturers of high-quality (air) suspension systems and with this active in the field of light- and medium-commercial vehicles plans the strengthening of their core-business by entering into a strategic partnership with DexKo Global, from Novi (Michigan, USA) and its daughter company AL-KO Vehicle Technology from Kötz (Germany). This shareholding is the logical next step in the development of their close relationship. The move will allow AL-KO Vehicle Technology to concentrate its know-how and development in the field of high-quality (air) suspension systems for light- and medium- commercial vehicles (including motorhomes) up until a gross vehicle weight of 7,5mTon, at VB-Airsuspension in Varsseveld (Netherlands). A new company building to facilitate, warehousing, logistics, quality- & purchase-department and assemble lines will be constructed to help support future growth. The existing buildings will continue to be utilized to provide space for Sales, Marketing, Development and the VB Academy to ensure the opening of further sales channels and the development of new products.

Iginio Voorhorst, Managing Director and joint founder of VB-Airsuspension: We celebrated our company's 25th anniversary on 1st April 2018. Now we are proud to have two strong partners at our side. This step confirms our outstanding work as a healthy, growing company with an excellent market position and offers huge opportunities for a successful future. Based on our closeness to the market and our strong customer focus, we know the needs of our customers very well and can offer tailor-made solutions. This is where we can provide dependable support to DexKo and Al-Ko. Looked at the other way around, this cooperation with AL-KO Vehicle Technology offers us access to new markets for which we already have a few ideas in the pipeline. We are prepared!"

Gerald Molenveld, Managing Director of VB-Airsuspension, emphasizes: "We are going through a further, very important period in the history of VB-Airsuspension. I have been on the board for almost three years now. During this time, the company has developed very positively due to the support of Quadrum Capital and Rabo Participaties. Together we have achieved a lot and after the transaction Quadrum Capital will further support us in the professionalization of the company. VB-Airsuspension and AL-KO Vehicle Technology maintain a long-standing commercial relationship, therefore this strategic partnership is now the next logical step. I look forward to a good, successful future and the opportunities it will yield for us."

Fred Bentley, CEO at DexKo Global: "We are very pleased to have gained a strategic partner in the (air) suspension system sector in VB-Airsuspension. The result is an ideal expansion of our portfolio. The high quality standards of VBAirsuspension's products, first-class design and development, customer proximity and presence in the after-sales market, including service, are an exact match for the requirements of DexKo. We are continuously working to optimize our range of products and level of service and this partnership is consistent with our strategy.

VB-Airsuspension is a leading manufacturer of professional full air suspension, semi air suspension, coil spring and controlled shock absorber systems. The company's proven expertise has made VB-Airsuspension a leader in the market and a specialist in retrofit components for 25 years. As part of the cooperation, all the know-how and expertise in the development and manufacture of (air) suspension systems will be brought together and concentrated in the Netherlands. The management of DexKo has full confidence in the future collaboration with the management and staff of VBAirsuspension.

Harald Hiller, President and CEO of AL-KO Vehicle Technology, emphasizes the significance of this strategic partnership: "Thanks to the cooperation with VB-Airsuspension, we are strengthening our position as a leading chassis manufacturer. We are building on the expertise and know-how of VB-Airsuspension, whose (air) suspension systems complement ALKO Vehicle Technology's range of chassis technology. This will allow us to further enlarge our product range. In addition, I am particularly looking forward to working with the existing management team." The financial details of the partnership are not disclosed. Completion of the transaction is subject to the customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals.

VB-Airsuspension B.V.
VB-Airsuspension is a leading manufacturer of professional full air suspension, semi air suspension, coil spring and controlled shock absorber systems. The company, which was founded in 1993 and has its head office in Varsseveld (Netherlands), has a workforce of almost 130 employed in its Dutch headquarters and its international subsidiaries in Germany, France, United Kingdom, North America and Asia. VB-Airsuspension had a total turnover of around EUR 24 million in 2017. www.vbairsuspension.com

Founded in 1931, AL-KO Vehicle Technology is now a global technology company with sites in Europe, South America, Asia and Australia. A supplier of high quality chassis components for trailers, leisure vehicles and light commercial vehicles, AL-KO is synonymous with ergonomic and functional excellence, superb comfort as well as innovations to enhance road safety. The company specializes in sophisticated innovation processes and has received many awards for this. www.alko-tech.com

DexKo Global Inc
DexKo Global is the world's leading supplier of advanced chassis technology, chassis assemblies and related components with more than 130 years of experience in trailer and caravan components. DexKo Global was founded at the end of 2015 through the combination of Dexter and AL-KO Vehicle Technology. With its headquarters in Novi, Michigan, the company employs more than 5,000 personnel with 42 production facilities and 25 distribution centers. DexKo Global Inc. has a turnover of more than US$ 1.3 billion. www.dexko.com

KPS Capital Partners, LP
KPS manages the KPS Special Situations Funds, a range of investment funds with approximately $5.2 billion in assets. For more than two decades, KPS partners have been working to realize capital growth by investing in manufacturing and industrial companies in various sectors, including raw materials, brand-name products, healthcare and luxury products, automotive components, plant systems and general manufacturing. KPS creates value for its investors by working constructively with the managers of the companies to optimize them and generate investment returns. The focus is not on the use of financial resources, but on the structural improvement of the strategic position, competitiveness and profitability. The portfolio companies of KPS Funds generate an annual revenue of around $6.6 billion, operate 162 production facilities in 30 countries and employ around 49,000 employees worldwide, both directly and through joint ventures. The KPS investment strategy and the portfolio companies are described in detail at www.kpsfund.com.

Victor Benno