Kinderhook-backed Lodis merges with American Belt

Kinderhook Industries said Wednesday that portfolio company Lodis Accessories has merged with The American Belt Company. The Ford family was the seller. Financial terms weren’t announced. The combined company was renamed American Accessories. Bensalem, Pennsylvania-based American Belt provides men’s accessories, like belts and wallets and small leather goods. Financing for the transaction was provided by PNC Bank. HT Capital Advisors advised The American Belt Company.

PRESS RELEASE

New York, NY – Kinderhook Industries today announced the merger of Lodis Accessories (“Lodis”), a portfolio company, and The American Belt Company (“American Belt”). The combined company was renamed American Accessories (the “Company”). Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Lodis, based in Lake Forest, California, is a leader in the domestic women’s accessories market with belts, wallets, bags, and small leather goods for branded product and private label customers.

American Belt, based in Bensalem, Pennsylvania, is a leader in the domestic men’s accessories market with belts, wallets, and suspenders for branded product, including Carhartt, and private label customers. American Belt has been owned and operated by the Ford family since its founding in 1969.
Adam Yuzuk, CEO of American Accessories, said, “We are excited to welcome American Belt into the Lodis family. The American Belt team has done an outstanding job becoming a leader in the men’s accessories market. American Belt and Lodis’ respective product mix complement one another as American Belt has a strong presence in men’s accessories and Lodis has a stronger presence in women’s accessories. The combination of Lodis and American Belt will strengthen the Company’s position in the accessories market and position the Company for continued success.”
“American Belt is entering into a new chapter and we are thrilled to be joining forces with the team at Lodis,” said Michelle Ford, who will remain with the Company. “The cultures of these two companies are a great fit. Both companies have entrenched industry relationships and we are looking forward to continuing to provide exceptional products.”
Tom Tuttle, Managing Director of Kinderhook Industries, stated, “We are excited to be partnering with American Belt and the Ford family to execute against our long term strategic objectives. The merger further strengthens the Lodis platform as the Company continues to expand its market presence. We have brought together two companies that will provide an exceptional platform to meet the growing demands of our customers and the market.”
Kirkland & Ellis served as legal counsel to Kinderhook. Financing for the transaction was provided by PNC Bank. Fox Rothschild served as legal counsel to American Belt. HT Capital Advisors served as exclusive financial advisor to The American Belt Company.

About Kinderhook Industries, LLC

Founded in 2003, Kinderhook is a private equity firm with over $1.25 billion of committed capital and an investment philosophy based on combining senior management and operating experience in a variety of industries with the financial and investment know-how of private equity professionals. Kinderhook primarily makes control investments in companies in which the firm can achieve significant financial, operational and growth improvements. The firm targets orphaned non-core subsidiaries of corporate parents, existing small capitalization public companies lacking institutional support and management-led recapitalizations of entrepreneur -owned companies. By providing access to capital, strategic advice and an extensive network of relationships, Kinderhook has a history of successfully building privately held firms in partnership with management. For more information please visit: www.kinderhook.com

About Lodis

Based in Lake Forest, CA, Lodis is a premier supplier of fashion accessories for men and women, including clutches, belts, wallets, brief bags, handbags and travel accessories. The Company was originally founded in 1970 as the United States division of Loewe of Spain, which is currently owned by LVMH Moët Hennessy – Louis Vuitton. Known for its exceptional leathers and superior craftsmanship, Lodis Accessories balances the company’s European heritage with a modern approach to style, design and function. Lodis Accessories products are sold in select department stores, specialty retailers and luggage stores throughout the United States. The Another Line division, acquired by Lodis Accessories in 2010, is a leading supplier of private label and branded men’s and women’s belts. For more information please visit: www.lodis.com