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PE-backed Bestop acquires Baja

Bestop Inc, which is backed by Kinderhook Industries LLC, has acquired San Marcos, California-based Baja Designs, a provider of off-road lighting products for the automotive market. No financial terms were disclosed.


New York, NY – Bestop, Inc. (“Bestop” or the “Company”), a portfolio company of Kinderhook Industries, LLC (“Kinderhook”), announced today the acquisition of Baja Designs (“Baja”), a provider of premium branded off-road lighting systems for the automotive market. Baja represents the first add-on acquisition for Bestop and Kinderhook’s 34th 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 vehicles and the sole supplier of factory soft tops on all Jeep Wranglers since 1986.

Headquartered in San Marcos, CA, Baja Designs is a leading provider of off-road lighting products for the off-road aftermarket. Recognized as “The Scientists of Lighting” for more than 20 years, Baja engineers revolutionary lighting systems to stay at the forefront of off-road racing and on- and off-road driving.

The acquisition reflects Bestop’s priority of growing both organically and through acquisitions in the automotive aftermarket. The company continues to invest in brand development and aggressive product innovation, while evaluating opportunities to extend into new product categories.

“Baja Designs engineers elite-level products that are a perfect match with Bestop’s ultra-premium Jeep soft tops and accessories,” says John Larson, Bestop CEO. “They will be a perfect fit within the Bestop family of products.”

“We believe that now is the right time to join forces with Bestop because there is a huge opportunity to leverage each other’s strengths and move even faster toward our shared long-term visions,” says Alan Roach, Baja Designs founder. “This is all about making the Baja Designs business, brand and culture even stronger than it is today.”

Tom Tuttle, Managing Director of Kinderhook Industries, stated, “We are very excited that Baja Designs has joined the Bestop and Kinderhook family and look forward to executing against our long-term strategic objectives together. The acquisition of Baja further strengthens the Bestop platform as the Company continues to expand its portfolio of premium products into adjacent categories.”

Monroe Moxness Berg PA served as legal counsel to Bestop.

About Kinderhook Industries
Founded in 2003, Kinderhook Industries is a private equity firm with over $2.0 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 Industries has a history of successfully building privately held firms in partnership with management. For more information, please visit:

About Bestop:
Born in the outdoor haven of Boulder, Colorado, Bestop got its start in 1954 with custom Jeep tops sewn together in a small upholstery shop. From those bootstrap early days, Bestop has grown into the world’s largest manufacturer of soft tops and accessories for Jeep® vehicles, and the sole supplier of factory soft tops on all Jeep Wranglers for more than three decades. Now sixty-two years young, the company has maintained its commitment to providing the highest quality, innovation and durability to the consumer. For more information, please visit:

About Baja Designs:
For 20+ years Baja Designs has engineered revolutionary ways to stay at the forefront of motorcycle and automotive lighting. In the process, Baja Designs’ engineers have become well known as “The Scientists of Lighting” and are regularly sought out by professional race teams to develop and aim their vehicle lighting. From race-changing innovation to every-day refinement, the Baja Designs product line is dedicated to being BRIGHTER, BOLDER, and BETTER. For more information, please visit: