Oak Hill Capital Partners to purchase Safe Fleet

Oak Hill Capital Partners to purchase Safe Fleet

Safe Fleet provides safety and productivity solutions for fleet vehicles.

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January 10, 2018
DeAnne Toto (edited by)

Safe Fleet Holdings LLC, Belton, Missouri, a provider of safety and productivity solutions for fleet vehicles, has announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by Oak Hill Capital Partners, headquartered in Menlo Park, California. The Houston-based Sterling Group currently owns the company.

Safe Fleet owns a portfolio of brands that provide safety and productivity solutions to fleet vehicle manufacturers and operators. These brands serve several major markets, including bus, rail, RV, truck and trailer, work truck, law enforcement, emergency, waste, industrial and military. With more than 1,200 employees and 11 manufacturing locations, Safe Fleet targets markets with increasing demand for operator, passenger and pedestrian safety.

“We have tremendous respect for what Safe Fleet has accomplished,” says Brian Cherry, a partner at Oak Hill. “The company has built a unique and growing portfolio of market-leading safety and productivity solutions.”

He adds, “We are excited to partner with Safe Fleet to support the company through its next phase of development as it continues to grow both organically and through strategic acquisitions.”

John Rachwalski, also a partner at Oak Hill, says, “Safe Fleet represents an exceptional opportunity to invest in a leader in specialized, niche markets supported by attractive secular tailwinds. We are delighted to work with the company’s talented management team to continue to build the Safe Fleet platform.”

“Sterling and a strong management team led by John Knox have transformed the business strategically, operationally, and commercially from two small component suppliers to a leader in safety solutions for fleet vehicles,” says Gary Rosenthal, a partner at Sterling and chairman of Safe Fleet’s board of directors. “The creation and sale of Safe Fleet, a business that didn’t exist before Sterling’s initial acquisitions, is a case study in how Sterling rapidly implements its improvement strategies to build winning businesses.”

“Sterling and the Safe Fleet team successfully executed our shared vision to create a leading safety solutions company serving an expanding group of fleet customers,” says John Knox, president and chief executive officer of Safe Fleet. “We believe our new partnership with Oak Hill, a firm that shares our culture of collaborative engagement and continuous improvement, will even further accelerate Safe Fleet’s growth trajectory as a highly differentiated safety and productivity solutions platform.”

The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2018 and represents the seventh investment in the Oak Hill Capital Partners IV portfolio, according to a news release issued by Safe Fleet.