FAIRLAWN, Ohio—Turnspire Capital Partners L.L.C. has a strong track record of acquiring subsidiaries of larger companies and transforming them into thriving stand-alone businesses.
That's one of the reasons David Brinkman, general manager of Stemco Air Springs, which produces Goodyear-branded air springs, is excited about the business operating under Turnspire, a private equity firm, in the near future.
On Aug. 3, an affiliate of New York-based Turnspire signed a definitive agreement to acquire the air springs operation from EnPro Industries Inc. for about $32 million in cash and a $7.5 million long-term promissory note, according to an EnPro news release. The purchase price is subject to adjustment based on the amount of cash and working capital on the closing date.
Under a global and exclusive license from Akron-headquartered Goodyear, the business manufactures and supplies premium Goodyear air springs for trucks, trailers, buses and specialty vehicles throughout North America and globally.
EnPro has owned the air springs operation since July 2015 when it bought the business from ContiTech. The Continental A.G. business had to divest the unit to fulfill antitrust requirements to allow its purchase of Veyance Technologies to go through.
The air springs business will continue to go to market as Goodyear Air Springs, but its new corporate name will be Infinity Engineered Products, according to Brinkman, who will continue to lead the business as its CEO.
Closure of the transaction is expected by the end of the third quarter, after customary regulatory approvals are received and closing conditions met.
Once the deal closes, the Turnspire affiliate will purchase all the assets of the air springs business, including full brand licensing rights, a technical and research and development center in Fairlawn, all manufacturing facilities, all real estate in the U.S. and Mexico, and all personnel. The business unit's Super Cushion and Spring Ride air spring brands also are included in the sale.
Goodyear Air Springs will continue to be headquartered in Fairlawn, and its primary manufacturing plant will remain in San Luis Potosi, Mexico, Brinkman said.
EnPro decided to sell the business after it completed an extensive, year-long review of its portfolio of companies and decided to reduce the firm's exposure to the commercial vehicle and heavy duty truck markets, Marvin Riley, EnPro president and CEO, said in a statement. It determined the air springs business was one of several that "no longer aligned with our long-term objectives."
Based on the review, he said, "we have exited several product lines and divested several businesses to reduce our heavy duty truck exposure."
However, Brinkman said, "Turnspire has extensive industry experience and was very excited to learn that the Goodyear Air Springs was available. Turnspire saw the potential that exists within Goodyear Air Springs due to our leading market share, best in class reputation for innovation, quality and service."
Turnspire intends to operate the business as an independent company "by leveraging an extensive product portfolio and bringing innovative technology solutions to leading OEM partners and aftermarket customers," Abel S. Osorio, a Turnspire partner, said in a statement.
Brinkman noted that "it is an exciting time for Goodyear Air Springs. We are fortunate to have a partner in Turnspire due to their collective experience in our industry and demonstrated ability to understand our business. We feel confident that they are singularly committed to our success.
"Turnspire works with management to drive strategic growth, maintain operational excellence and invest in innovation. Once the deal closes, our new partnership will allow us to improve the resources at our disposal to create a world-class industry leading company."
He added that Turnspire has a reputation of investing a significant amount of resources to train employees "and develop human capital that will improve our competitiveness."
Customers will benefit "because it improves our strategic position," Brinkman said. When the transaction closes, "we will have a fully committed partner in Turnspire that is dedicated to investing in our customer relationships." Turnspire is focused on helping the business bring new products and technology to market for the firm's OEM and aftermarket customers. "We are also looking forward to having a dedicated sales team focused on going to market exclusively with Goodyear Air Springs products that can better showcase the benefits of our technology, quality and durability," he noted.
Brinkman said the business will create further value for its customers by pursuing organic growth initiatives and select acquisitions. "Turnspire will support our growth initiatives in order to capitalize on our new product development plans, available new global markets and production upgrades."