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Patriarch Partners, LLC Acquires American LaFrance (12/15/2005)
New Owner Proud to Carry the American LaFrance Flag
Ladson, S.C. – Patriarch Partners, LLC, an investment firm based in New York and Charlotte, N.C., announced today that it has purchased American LaFrance from DaimlerChrysler’s Freightliner LLC. “Patriarch is honored to make its entrance into the fire and emergency apparatus industry carrying the American LaFrance flag,” said Lynn Tilton, Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Patriarch. “We believe that our acquisition of the businesses and trademarks of American LaFrance affords us a platform with prodigious potential for expansion that already capitalizes upon a highly regarded and recognized player in this important and competitive market.”
With use of Patriarch’s substantial capital and strategic expertise, Tilton said there exists an extraordinary opportunity to enhance the depth and breadth of the business that bears the well-established and respected American LaFrance name, and brings with it an experienced management team.
“Patriarch Partners has a successful track record in complex industries and we felt they are a perfect fit with American LaFrance’s dedicated workforce and can-do attitude,” said Chris Patterson, Freightliner President and CEO. “Patriarch’s strategy aligns well with American LaFrance’s loyalty and commitment to its customer base and we believe that under Patriarch’s guidance, American LaFrance will grow market share, achieve greater profitability and become a stronger partner to the fire and EMS community.”
Patriarch will maintain American LaFrance’s manufacturing facilities and corporate-owned dealer locations across the U.S. The Ladson (South Carolina) corporate headquarters building, that is not part of the sale, remains a DaimlerChrysler asset. However, it will continue to be utilized in part by American LaFrance until 2007. DaimlerChrysler recently announced it will be dedicating the facility to assembly of the next generation Dodge Sprinter van. “This will in no way have an effect on or impact production or delivery of American LaFrance apparatus,” stated John Stevenson, President of American LaFrance.
Financial terms of the transaction are not being disclosed.
“This acquisition is exciting news for everyone involved,” said Stevenson. “As always, we will remain committed to servicing our dealers and customers with a continued emphasis on product innovation, quality manufacturing and market growth. Patriarch will give us the support we need to grow and at the same time, provide a convenient and efficient way for our customers to do business with us.”
About American LaFrance: American LaFrance has built fire and rescue apparatus for nearly 175 years. Today the company manufactures and distributes a comprehensive line of fire and emergency apparatus including chassis, aerials, ambulances, pumpers, rescues, tankers and wildland vehicles.
About Patriarch Partners: Patriarch Partners, LLC is an investment fund based in New York and in Charlotte, North Carolina. Patriarch provides portfolio management services to 8 leveraged funds and a private equity fund, which funds own and manage a diverse portfolio of international companies and credit facilities with an aggregate asset value of approximately $5.0 billion including equity ownership positions (majority and minority) in more than 65 companies.
About Freightliner LLC: Freightliner LLC, headquartered in Portland, Oregon, is the leading medium-and heavy-duty truck manufacturer in North America. Freightliner produces and markets Class 5-8 vehicles and is a company of DaimlerChrysler, the world’s largest commercial vehicle manufacturer.
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