Hopkins Acquires Bell Automotive Products
The combination of the Bell product offering, including: Steering Wheel Covers, Seat Covers, Interior Organizers, License Plate Frames, Tire Safety, Emergency Kits, with the related Hopkins’ vehicle organization products creates the most comprehensive assortment of vehicle accessories available in North America.
“We are pleased to add Bell, one of the most recognized consumer brands in the industry, to Hopkins’ portfolio of consumer brands. The Bell brand draws on the rich heritage for protection and safety from its pioneering designs in auto racing, motorcycle and bicycle helmets, and will be a powerful asset for Hopkins,” said Bradley T. Kraft, President and Chief Executive Officer of Hopkins. “Bringing the array of vehicle accessories together under one supplier will be a win for our customers,” added Mr. Kraft.
“We’re very excited that Hopkins will build on the heritage of the Bell brand in automotive and continue its reputation for creativity long into the future,” said Kwai Kong, President and CEO of Bell. “Hopkins has an outstanding reputation in the industry and we could not think of a better partner to ensure the future for our company.”
As part of the acquisition, Hopkins will add distribution facilities in Urbandale, Iowa and offices in Scottsdale, Arizona. The Scottsdale office will become the home of the new vehicle accessory business. This will leverage the creative and design capabilities across the full range of Hopkins organization products and the Bell Protection, Tire Safety and Vehicle Accessory product lines.
Recent acquisitions by Hopkins include Mallory®, the market leader in Canada for snow tools and in North America for gas station squeegees; the fluid management drain pans and ramps of F3 Brands; Mr. Funnel®, a simple but effective line of portable fuel filters that remove water, dirt and debris from all types of fuels; and TowDaddy® line of towed vehicle wire harness kits.
About Hopkins Manufacturing Corporation
Headquartered in Emporia, Kansas, Hopkins is a leading manufacturer, marketer and distributor of quality, innovative specialized towing products and functional accessories for the automotive and recreational vehicle aftermarkets. Hopkins markets its products under a number of well-recognized brand names, including: Hopkins Towing Solutions® Trailer Wiring & Brake Control Products; SubZero® and Mallory® Snow & Ice Tools; Carrand™, AutoSpa™ and Pacific Coast™ Vehicle Cleaning Products; Mallory® squeegees; Flo-Tool® Fluid Management Products; BrakeBuddy® RV tow brakes; Go Gear® Mobile Solutions; nVISION® Vehicle Safety Products; DUO™ Automotive Air Fresheners, Vortex™ High Performance Mud Guards; and Juice™ Booster Cables. Founded in 1953, the company has been guided by the philosophy that its products will deliver meaningful innovation, performance and value to the consumer. ONCAP invested in Hopkins in June 2011.
About Bell Automotive Products
Bell Automotive was founded in 2000 by Terry Lee and Mary George with the vision of bringing the Bell® brand into automotive with the strong protection and safety attributes developed from the heritage in motorcycle and safety helmets. Bell Automotive has applied this consumer recognized brand to extend the active lifestyle into automotive Steering Wheel Covers, Seat Covers, Interior Organizers, License Plate Frames, Tire Safety, Emergency Kits and other related accessories. Bell will become a subsidiary of Hopkins.
ONCAP, in partnership with operating company management teams, invests in and builds shareholder value in North American small and mid-size companies that are leaders in their defined market niche and possess meaningful growth potential. ONCAP is currently investing from its third fund and is the mid-market private equity platform of Onex. Onex is one of the oldest and most successful private equity firms with offices in Toronto, New York and London. In total, Onex has approximately $21 billion of assets under management, including $6 billion of Onex capital, in private equity and credit securities.
Sawaya Segalas & Co., LLC acted as financial advisor to Bell Automotive Products.