FountainVest Partners acquires controlling stake in KSS

FountainVest Partners and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board have made an undisclosed investment in Key Safety Systems. As a result of the transaction, FountainVest Partners not only joins Crestview Partners and KSS management as an owner of KSS but has become its largest shareholder. Goldman Sachs and UBS Investment Bank advised KSS on the deal while Citigroup served as an advisor to FountainVest. Headquartered in Sterling Heights, Michigan, KSS is a maker of car safety components.


Sterling Heights, MI August 29, 2014 – Key Safety Systems, Inc. (KSS) announced today  that FountainVest Partners (FountainVest) has completed an investment whereby it joins  existing shareholders Crestview Partners (Crestview) and KSS management in the ownership of KSS. FountainVest is a leading Hong Kong based private equity firm and  through this transaction it becomes the largest shareholder in the KSS partnership.

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) also participated in the transaction as a  co-investor with FountainVest Partners. Jason Luo will continue as KSS Chief Executive Officer and as a member of the company’s board of directors.

Mr. Luo said, “We are very excited to take this next step with FountainVest, a firm that is widely respected for its business acumen, commitment and performance. In partnership  with Crestview, KSS has become the fastest growing global safety restraint supplier, and we are thrilled they will remain equity holders as we continue to expand our business  globally. We truly appreciate the confidence our customers worldwide have placed in KSS,
and we remain committed to serving them in an aligned and collaborative manner.”

Mr. Frank Tang, Co-Founder and CEO of FountainVest said, “KSS has emerged as an industry leader well recognized for its reliable technology, high quality global manufacturing footprint, customer focus and diversified revenue base. We see excellent growth prospects for KSS in both the rapidly expanding Chinese market and the broader global market as customers seek to improve the safety of their cars. We are pleased to partner with
Crestview and KSS management to help drive the next stage of growth.”

Mr. Barry Volpert, Co-Founder and CEO of Crestview said, “We look forward to continuing our association with and investment in KSS and welcome FountainVest to this consortium. Together with KSS’s management, we have built a strong company that is poised to
continue its consistent, record setting performance.”

Goldman, Sachs & Co. and UBS Investment Bank acted as advisors to KSS while Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP acted as Crestview’s legal advisor. Citigroup acted as advisors to FountainVest while Latham & Watkins LLP served as its legal advisor.

About KSS
Key Safety Systems (KSS) is a global leader in the design, development and manufacturing of automotive safety-critical components and systems including inflators, airbags, steering wheels, and seat belts. Its products are featured in more than 300 vehicle models produced
by over 60 well-diversified customers worldwide. KSS is headquartered in Sterling Heights, Michigan with a global network of 28 sales, engineering, and manufacturing facilities. The company has 5 main technical centers located in the U.S., Germany, China, Japan and
South Korea.

About FountainVest Partners
FountainVest is a leading China-focused private equity firm. FountainVest focuses on long term oriented investments and targets high growth industry leaders in the industrial, consumer and retail, media and entertainment, and healthcare sectors. FountainVest works
closely with management teams to create value in the areas of strategy, operations, finance, industry consolidation and governance.

About Crestview Partners
Founded in 2004, Crestview Partners is a value-oriented private equity firm focused on the middle market. The firm is based in New York and has approximately $6 billion of assets under management. The firm is led by a group of partners who have complementary
experience and distinguished backgrounds in private equity, finance, operations and management. Crestview has been an active investor in the automotive supply industry since 2007.