Kinderhook-backed Bestop buys Softopper

Bestop Inc, a portfolio company of Kinderhook Industries LLC, said June 4 that it acquired Softopper LLC. Financial terms weren’t announced. Softopper, of Boulder, Colorado, designs, makes and distributes convertible soft tops for light-duty pickup trucks and SUV’s.

PRESS RELEASE

June 4th, 2019

New York, NY – Bestop, Inc. (“Bestop” or the “Company”), a portfolio company of Kinderhook Industries, LLC (“Kinderhook”), announced today the acquisition of Softopper, LLC (“Softopper”), a leading designer, manufacturer and distributor of convertible soft tops for light-duty pickup trucks and SUV’s. Softopper represents the sixth add-on acquisition for Bestop and Kinderhook’s 74th automotive-related transaction. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Based in Louisville, CO, Bestop is the world’s largest manufacturer of soft tops and fabric accessories for Jeep and UTV vehicles, the sole supplier of factory soft tops on all Jeep Wranglers since 1986 and a major supplier of tonneaus, lock boxes, lighting and fabric caps to the pickup truck market. Bestop’s four other product acquisitions include Baja Designs (2016), Tuffy Security Products (2016), PRP Seats (2018) and BullRing (2019).

Founded in 2000 and headquartered in Boulder, CO, Softopper has grown from offering a single product to manufacturing and selling 38 different models of convertible soft tops. Softopper’s spotlight product is the folding truck cap made from heavy-duty sailcloth which is ideal for replacing heavy, fiberglass or caps. Softopper’s products can be fitted to GM, FCA, Honda, Ford, Isuzu, Mazda, Toyota and Nissan vehicles. By adding Softopper to the existing brand portfolio, Bestop will truly be a one-stop-shop for all things Jeep and truck.

“With the ability to outfit over 95% of trucks on the road with quality product, Softopper is a perfect addition to the Bestop family,” says Bestop CEO, John Larson. “Bestop has placed an emphasis on growing in the light-duty pickup truck space, and Softopper will be a great compliment to Bestop’s Supertop for Truck product line.”

Tom Tuttle, Managing Director of Kinderhook Industries, stated, “The acquisition of Softopper will continue Bestop’s “buy-and-build” strategy of acquiring premium brand names in niche categories serving the automotive aftermarket. Softopper also enhances Bestop’s growing suite of premium products designed specifically for light-duty pickup trucks.”

Monroe Moxness Berg PA served as legal counsel to Bestop. Financing for the transaction was provided by Antares Capital.
About Kinderhook Industries

Kinderhook Industries, LLC is a private investment firm that manages over $3.0 billion of committed capital. We have made in excess of 200 investments and follow-on acquisitions since inception. Kinderhook’s investment philosophy is predicated on matching unique, growth-oriented investment opportunities with exceptional financial expertise and our proprietary network of operating partners. Our focus is on middle market businesses with defensible niche market positioning in the healthcare services, environmental / business services and automotive / light manufacturing sectors. We have a track record of successfully and consistently building industry leaders.

For more information, please visit: www.kinderhook.com

About Bestop:

Bestop is the world’s largest manufacturer of soft tops and fabric accessories for Jeep vehicles and sole supplier of factory soft tops on all Jeep Wranglers since 1986. Winner of numerous design and innovation awards from Chrysler/Jeep, Bestop offers the finest replacement soft tops for Jeep, plus a host of related fabric accessories and enthusiast-oriented products for both on and off-road use. The company’s products have an outstanding reputation in the marketplace for their superior design, innovative solutions and high quality that have inspired a loyal following among both Jeep enthusiasts and casual drivers.

For more information, please visit: www.bestop.com

About Softopper:

Founded in 2000 and headquartered in Boulder, CO, Softopper has grown from offering a single product to manufacturing and selling 38 different models of convertible soft tops. Softopper’s spotlight product is the folding truck cap made from heavy-duty sailcloth which is ideal for replacing heavy, fiberglass or caps. Softopper’s products can be fitted to GM, FCA, Honda, Ford, Isuzu, Mazda, Toyota and Nissan vehicles.