Babson Capital Backs High Road Capital’s Buy of The Crown Group

Babson Capital Management LLC said on Wednesday that it has provided subordinated debt and made an equity co-investment in High Road Capital Partners‘ acquisition of The Crown Group. No financial terms were disclosed. Also, High Road teamed up with Charter Oak Equity on the transaction. Based in Warren, Michigan, The Crown Group is a provider of coating services and solutions.


SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (June 19, 2013) – Babson Capital Management LLC, a global investment management firm with more than $180 billion in assets under management and operations on four continents, today announced that it provided subordinated debt and made an equity co-investment to support High Road Capital Partners’ acquisition of The Crown Group Inc. High Road partnered with Westport, Conn.-based Charter Oak Equity on the transaction.
Founded in 1950, Warren, Mich.-based The Crown Group is a leading provider of high-quality coating services and solutions to the automotive, agricultural, heavy truck and other industrial markets. The company’s services include pre-treatment, acid-cleaning, electro-coating (e-coating), powder top-coating, water-based spray coating and cavity wax coating. The Crown Group has seven manufacturing facilities in Shelby, Detroit, and Livonia, Mich.; Fort Wayne, Ind.; Portland, Tenn.; Greenville, S.C., and Waterloo, Iowa.
“High Road Capital Partners and Babson Capital have enjoyed a long and successful collaboration, and we are pleased to work with the Mezzanine & Private Equity Group on our investment in The Crown Group,” said William C. Connell, Partner at High Road Capital Partners. “As one of the leading providers of mezzanine debt to the lower end of the middle market, Babson Capital has the experience, expertise, responsiveness and reliability that sponsors need to bring transactions to a successful close.”
“Babson Capital deeply values our 20-year relationship with High Road Capital’s principals, including Bob Fitzsimmons and Bill Connell, and we are delighted to have the opportunity to invest alongside them once again,” said Michael L. Klofas, Managing Director and Head of the U.S. Mezzanine & Private Equity Group. “The Crown Group has carved out a strong market position by offering top-quality coating services and integrating itself into customers’ supply chains with value-added services such as direct shipping, inventory management, bar coding and packaging services. With new capital and operating support, we believe The Crown Group is well positioned to take advantage of the favorable trend in vehicle sales in the North American market, and we look forward to participating in their success.”
About High Road Capital Partners
High Road Capital Partners is a private equity firm focused on smaller middle market transactions. High Road was formed in 2007 and currently manages over $335 million of committed capital. High Road focuses on niche-leading companies with revenues of $10 million to $100 million and EBITDA of $3 million to $10 million. Once acquired, High Road works in partnership with management to take the companies to the next level through a combination of organic growth initiatives and add-on acquisitions. More information on High Road may be found on its website,
About Babson Capital Management LLC
Babson Capital Management LLC and its subsidiaries serve institutional investors around the globe and have $181 billion in assets under management as of March 31, 2013. Through proprietary research, analysis and a focus on investment fundamentals, we develop products and strategies that leverage our broad expertise in fixed income, equities, alternatives, structured products, debt financing for corporations and debt and equity financing for commercial real estate. Based in Boston and Springfield, Mass., and Charlotte, N.C., with offices in New York City and Los Angeles, the firm’s subsidiaries include Babson Capital Europe Limited in London, Babson Capital Australia Pty Ltd in Sydney, Cornerstone Real Estate Advisers LLC in Hartford, Conn., and Wood Creek Capital Management, LLC in New Haven, Conn. Babson Capital is a member of the MassMutual Financial Group.