Stonebridge Partners Acquires BrandFX

September, 2013

Stonebridge Partners (“Stonebridge” or the “Firm”) is pleased to announce that it has completed the recapitalization of BrandFX Body Company (“BrandFX” or the “Company”) based in Fort Worth, Texas on August 30, 2013. With annual revenues approaching $80 million, BrandFX manufactures and sells composite utility truck bodies. Products include service bodies designed for smaller utility trucks, line bodies designed for medium sized utility trucks as well as toppers and inserts designed primarily for compact utility trucks.

The Company has a compelling product offering which is helping to meet the challenges faced by today’s utility truck fleets. The Company dominates the composite body space and is recognized by its utility customers as the manufacturer of the highest quality body available. Composite truck bodies offer numerous advantages over more traditional steel bodies including significant weight reduction, which results in reduced fuel and maintenance costs, and also offers customers the flexibility to move to smaller, less expensive vehicles. 

The Company’s management team is led by Lee Finley, the founder of the business and a successful entrepreneur, who sought the “right” financial partner he felt comfortable working with to help him continue to successfully grow the business. Because of the significant demand BrandFX's products are experiencing in the utility marketplace, Lee recognized a need to further develop his organization by adding key executives in manufacturing and finance as well as the need for continued investment in proprietary capital equipment to increase capacity and to further enhance manufacturing efficiencies. At Lee’s request, Stonebridge recruited a Chief Executive Officer, Art de St. Aubin, well-known to the firm prior to the close of the acquisition and who is working closely with Lee, already making significant progress in developing the organization. Stonebridge conservatively capitalized the transaction with substantial equity to provide for continued growth and accelerated capital expenditures. Lee Finley retained the largest individual share of the recapitalized BrandFX, and Lee and Stonebridge also structured a meaningful common stock layer for management. The balance of the equity was provided by Stonebridge in combination with a few of its long term co-investors including BB&T Capital Partners and Private Advisors.

The characteristics of the Company fit extremely well into the Firm’s Specialty Manufacturing investment initiative, a segment where Stonebridge has had strong investment performance. The sizeable owner reinvestment and a tiered performance-based equity incentive program for management are consistent with the Stonebridge investment philosophy. Like the vast majority of its transactions, the introduction to Lee Finley and BrandFX originated on a direct basis, outside an auction process, with a longstanding buy-side intermediary who has partnered with Stonebridge on previous transactions.  

Everyone at Stonebridge is extremely pleased to be partnering with Lee Finley, Art de St. Aubin, as well as BB&T Capital Markets and Private Advisors to provide the equity investment in the BrandFX transaction. Stonebridge is also pleased to have consummated another transaction with The PrivateBank, who led the senior financing with no mezzanine debt requirement.

For further information, please contact Michael S. Bruno, Jr, Managing Partner, at (914) 682-2700 x13 or .


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