Horizon Global Corp., the parent company of the Cequent brand of towing and hitch products, announced Thursday that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Westfalia-Automotive and Terwa, collectively referred to as the Westfalia Group, a global towing company.
As part of the transaction, Horizon Global will acquire the brands, Westfalia, Terwa and Siarr from an investor consortium led by DPE Deutsche Private Equity, which will become a shareholder of Troy, Mich.-based Horizon Global as part of the transaction.
The combination will create a stronger company which will be well-positioned for accelerated growth in both revenue and profit, as it gains a larger pan-European presence and low-cost manufacturing in Romania, the company said in a news release.
Westfalia is the inventor of the European ball towbar and has been manufacturing and marketing high-quality branded towing products since 1932. Offering more than 1,700 different types of towbars, Westfalia is headquartered in Rheda-Wiedenbrück, Germany. Westfalia holds approximately 100 towbar patents and more than 30 transport system patents, operating facilities in 11 countries.
“Our company is extremely pleased to add the iconic brands, design innovation, and manufacturing expertise of Westfalia to our proven global platform,” said A. Mark Zeffiro, president and chief executive officer of Horizon Global. “The addition of Westfalia is very complementary to our business, adding to our regional profile with new customer channels and broadened product offering. As part of this transaction, we are also pleased to welcome DPE Deutsche Private Equity as a shareholder. We are creating a powerful combination of companies that are established, global market leaders and innovators when it comes to designing and manufacturing towing systems for automotive equipment manufacturers, retailers and aftermarket customers.”
Volker Hichert, founding partner at DPE Deutsche Private Equity, said, “We are excited about the prospect of building a relationship with Horizon Global as it moves into the next phase of growth with the acquisition of Westfalia. DPE has been highly active in the sector, and Horizon Global stands for the type of company in which we seek to invest – a strong management team, leading industry brands and global scale with this new combination of companies representing an inflection point to drive significant global growth and shareholder value.”