Huron Capital-backed Drake buys Fender Gripper

Drake Automotive Group, which is backed by Huron Capital Partners LLC, has acquired Tyler, Texas-based Fender Gripper Inc, a maker of protective fender covers, trunk mats, and carpet underlayments for the automotive aftermarket. No financial terms were disclosed.

PRESS RELEASE

DETROIT, Nov. 18, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Huron Capital Partners LLC (“Huron Capital”) today announced Henderson, Nev.-based Drake Automotive Group (“Drake”), its auto aftermarket accessories platform, has acquired Tyler, Tex-based Fender Gripper Inc. (“Fender Gripper”).

Fender Gripper is a manufacturer of protective fender covers, trunk mats, and carpet underlayments for the automotive aftermarket. The company was founded by Craig Chesley in 1980. Fender Gripper offers licensed products for General Motors, Ford, Fiat Chrysler, and Busted Knuckle Products, as well as custom art products.

“We are excited to add the Fender Gripper product portfolio to our offering,” said Scott Drake, founder of Drake Automotive Group. “Fender Gripper’s products are a great addition to our catalog for end-users who love to restore classic cars or individualize their off-road or late-model muscle vehicles.”
Brad Barker, Vice President at Huron Capital, added, “This acquisition represents the first of what we hope will be a number of add-on acquisitions for Drake. Scott and the team have built a solid platform in the enthusiast market, and we are actively looking to grow that through acquisitions of additional products and licenses.”

About Huron Capital Partners LLC
Based in Detroit, Huron Capital is an operationally-focused private equity firm with a long history of growing lower middle-market companies through our proprietary ExecFactor® buy-and-build investment model. We prefer complex situations where we can help companies reach their full potential by combining our operational approach,

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substantial capital base, and transaction experience with seasoned operating executives. Founded in 1999, Huron Capital has raised over $1.1 billion in capital through four committed private equity funds and invested in over 120 companies, and our portfolio companies have employed over 11,000 people throughout North America. The Huron Capital buy-and-build investment model includes equity recapitalizations, family succession transactions, market-entry strategies, corporate carve-outs, and management buyouts of companies having revenues up to $200 million. Huron Capital targets both majority and less-than-majority equity stakes in fundamentally-sound companies that can benefit from the firm’s operational approach to creating value. Huron Capital’s sector focus includes business services, consumer products & services and specialty manufacturing. For more information, please visit www.huroncapital.com.

About Drake Automotive Group
Headquartered in Henderson, Nev., Drake is a designer and distributor of branded automotive aftermarket products serving the classic car, off-road, and late model “muscle car” markets. Founded by Scott Drake in 1988, Drake has long been a major provider of parts for classic and current model Ford Mustangs, and also caters to vehicles such as Broncos, Jeeps, Camaros and others. For more information, please visit www.drakeautomotivegroup.com.