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OpenGate Capital Acquires Autoparts Leader Gabriel North America From ArvinMeritor

LOS ANGELES--OpenGate Capital, a global private equity firm, will acquire Gabriel North America (NA), a leading provider of shock absorbers and strut assemblies, from Fortune 500 company ArvinMeritor. Gabriel NA operates in both the aftermarket and Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) segments. This marks OpenGate’s fourth opportunistic acquisition in the past six months and its first in the automotive sector. For this investment, OpenGate is partnering with Gabriel North America’s management team to complete a transformation of the business.

“OpenGate is uncovering attractive niche investment opportunities in fragmented and rapidly changing industries,” said OpenGate’s Founder and Managing Partner Andrew Nikou. “By bringing additional expertise and resources to businesses in transition such as Gabriel NA, we maximize brand equity, product technology and customer relationships to produce excellent results for our investors. OpenGate will leverage Gabriel NA’s infrastructure to aggressively pursue other acquisitions in the motor vehicle market.”

Gabriel is one of the most widely recognized brands in the North American automotive and commercial vehicle aftermarket and supplies most of its products through a diverse and well-known customer base. The company is also a leading supplier of shocks to North American commercial, industrial and recreational vehicle manufacturers. In transforming the business, the management team and OpenGate will work to optimize manufacturing, expand product range, and broaden the range of niche applications for its products.

Lisa J. Bahash, president of Gabriel NA, commented, “OpenGate brings valuable resources and ideas to our company. Aligning with such a top-tier private equity firm is a very positive step in Gabriel’s long history. We look forward to working closely with OpenGate to unleash value for Gabriel NA and all of its stakeholders. We agree that the opportunities in the aftermarket segment, which offers many pockets of growth, are especially exciting.”

Nikou concluded by commenting on OpenGate’s strategy, “As our growing portfolio illustrates, we move quickly to find and acquire high-potential businesses. Executing a multitude of transactions in this difficult economy distinguishes OpenGate’s operating model, speed and certainty of closure. Our well-established track record enables the firm to attract capital, talent and dealflow despite global market challenges. In fact, being a well-funded firm with a strong portfolio permits us to be more opportunistic in the down market allowing us to continue strategic investments while building our portfolio companies.”

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.