International towbar manufacturer Brink in Staphorst cautiously resumes production after Easter.

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The Brink Group is one of the largest towbar manufacturers in Europe. It supplies directly to most European car manufacturers and is the market leader in the aftermarket.

Since the outbreak of the Corona virus, the necessary measures have been taken by the Corona crisis team, both in the factory and in the Staphorst office, to make sure that employees can work safely. The production lines have been adapted in such a way that the 1.5 meter rule is possible everywhere. All office employees have been asked to work from home from mid-March and no external visitors are allowed, except suppliers who must keep a safe distance.

Furthermore, it was soon decided to close the canteen, because this was the place where the greatest risk of transfer is. Fortunately, these measures have meant that, to date, no Brink employee in Staphorst has been infected by the virus.

Due to the closure of most car manufacturers since the second half of March and the (partial) lock down in important Brink countries Germany, France, Belgium and England, the decision was made to close the factory in France (Reims) from March 23 and the location in the Netherlands (Staphorst) from March 30. For the aftermarket, the warehouse and customer service remained open, because in the Netherlands (but also Denmark) demand remains at a reasonable level, because garages and fitting points are still open.

After the announcement that European factories of some car manufacturers will reopen at the end of April, it was decided to gradually restart production in Staphorst after Easter.

Spokesperson Koen Buyst: “We will start in a responsible manner with one shift in Staphorst on April 14. In this way, we will be able to finish semi-finished products that were already in the production process and thoroughly prepare new orders. In this first phase, the volumes will still be low, and our priority is of course a safe working environment for the employees.”

Horizon Global communicates termination of the agreement to acquire Brink

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On 14 December 2017 Horizon Global did announce the acquisition of Brink Group as a result of the very good results of the Brink Group in the market.

Last Friday, the Troy, Michigan-based company Horizon Global has communicated to withdraw from the agreement to acquire Brink Group. The following was included in the press release of Horizon Global: “While the decision to acquire Brink was based on a compelling opportunity for our Company, ultimately, we have mutually agreed that our best path forward is to remain independent. We have nothing but respect for the Brink Group team and H2 Partners as part of this process. In the near and medium term, my focus, and that of the entire Horizon Global team, is centered on evolving business conditions and executing the Company’s Action Plan, which we believe will improve performance in our existing Horizon Americas and Europe-Africa operations.”

The acquisition will be withdrawn from regulatory review in Germany and the U.K.

As part of the termination agreement, Horizon Global agreed to pay a break fee to the Brink Group in the amount of €4.75 million.


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Troy, Michigan, Thursday, December 14, 2017 – Horizon Global Corporation (NYSE: HZN), the world’s leading manufacturer of branded towing and trailering equipment, announced today that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the Brink Group from H2 Equity Partners. The Brink Group is an industry-leading innovator and manufacturer of towbars, wiring kits and towing accessories.

Headquartered in the Netherlands and with more than 75 years of towbar expertise, the Brink Group works closely with original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and original equipment suppliers (OESs) on various programs and also serves the aftermarket channel of the towing and trailering industry. The Brink Group produces nearly one million towbars annually, its products can be found on approximately 25 million vehicles worldwide. The Brink Group currently operates nine facilities in eight countries around the world.

With annual revenue of approximately $150 million, the Brink Group’s addition to the Horizon Global portfolio will enhance the Company’s industry-leading product innovation and manufacturing capabilities. After the acquisition, the combined company’s robust and respected product portfolio will more effectively serve its global customers across the OEM, OES, aftermarket and retail channels.

“We look forward to adding the Brink Group’s powerful product portfolio and manufacturing expertise to that of Horizon Global’s, and we are confident this combination will enhance our ability to better serve our customers and end users across all markets that we serve,” said Mark Zeffiro, president and chief executive officer of Horizon Global. “We expect the acquisition to be accretive to earnings during its first full year as part of Horizon Global through a combination of operating performance and the realization of certain synergies. The new Horizon Global will greatly benefit customers with a strengthened global platform, broader product offerings and enhanced product innovation and design expertise.”

Acquisition Highlights

  • Positive and compelling strategic fit for both companies in a consolidating industry
  • Strength in OES channel to better support existing global customers in the region
  • Expected to be accretive to earnings during its first full year
  • Complementary regional aftermarket presence
  • Purchase price of €169 million will be financed through new long-term debt and cash on hand
  • The combined company will have approximately 5,300 employees, operating 67 facilities in 21 countries to effectively serve its global customers
  • The parties expect to complete the transaction by the end of the second quarter 2018, subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions, including receipt of regulatory approvals

Concluded Zeffiro: “This significant acquisition will strengthen our global platform and give our Company the reach, product offering and customer access to build on our leadership position in the OEM, OES, aftermarket and retail channels in the markets we serve. Our team has a proven ability to integrate businesses and grow both existing and newly acquired brands. We expect these efforts to improve our margin profile and increase shareholder value. We look forward to welcoming the entire Brink Group team to the Horizon Global family, and we are excited to continue serving our global customers with top-quality, innovative products.”

Jefferies LLC is serving as financial advisor to Horizon Global in the transaction, with Ernst & Young LLP providing due diligence services. Eversheds LLP is acting as the Company’s legal advisor.
Houlihan Lokey is serving as financial advisor to the Brink Group in the transaction, with Deloitte Transaction Services and Roland Berger providing due diligence services. Houthoff is acting as the Company’s legal advisor.

Conference Call Details

Horizon Global will host a conference call on Thursday, December 14, 2017, at 9:00 a.m. Eastern Time.
Participants in the call are asked to register five to ten minutes prior to the scheduled start time by dialing (844) 711-8052 and from outside the U.S. at (832) 900-4641. Please use the conference identification number 3698099.

The conference call will be webcast simultaneously and in its entirety through the Horizon Global website. An investor presentation will also be available on the Horizon Global website at the time of the conference call. Shareholders, media representatives and others may participate in the webcast by registering through the investor relations section on the Company’s website.
A replay of the call will be available on Horizon Global’s website or by phone by dialing (800) 585-8367 and from outside the U.S. at (404) 537-3406. Please use the conference identification number 3698099. The telephone replay will be available approximately two hours after the end of the call and continue through December 28, 2017.

About Horizon Global

Horizon Global is the #1 designer, manufacturer and distributor of a wide variety of high-quality, custom-engineered towing, trailering, cargo management and other related accessory products in North America, Australia and Europe. The Company serves OEMs, dealer networks, retailers, distributors, installers and the end consumer as the category leader in the automotive, leisure and agricultural market segments. Horizon provides its customers with outstanding products and services that reflect the Company’s commitment to market leadership, innovation and operational excellence. The Company’s mission is to utilize forward-thinking technology to develop and deliver best-in-class products for our customers, engage with our employees and realize value creation for our shareholders.

Horizon Global is home to some of the world’s most recognized brands in the towing and trailering industry, including: Reese®, Hayman-Reese™, Draw-Tite®, Bulldog®, Fulton®, ROLA®, Tekonsha®, and Westfalia®. Horizon Global has approximately 4,600 employees in 58 facilities across 21 countries.

For more information, please visit

About the Brink Group

Brink Group is one of the European market leaders in towing systems with over 75 years’ experience in the automotive sector. Under the motto “Your Perfect Fit”, the Brink Group offers an easy and safe connection between practically any vehicle and the load you want to carry or tow. With this, Brink Group enables millions of end users all over the world to go out and live their active lives. So far, close to 25 million cars have been fitted with a Brink towbar.

Brink Group, with its headquarters in Staphorst, the Netherlands, has approximately 700 employees in 8 countries and state-of-the-art manufacturing locations in the Netherlands, France, United Kingdom and South Africa. More information is available at

Safe Harbor Statement

This release contains “forward-looking statements” as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements contained herein speak only as of the date they are made and give our current expectations or forecasts of future events. These forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of forward-looking words, such as “may,” “could,” “should,” “estimate,” “project,” “forecast,” “intend,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “believe,” “target,” “plan” or other comparable words, or by discussions of strategy that may involve risks and uncertainties. These forward-looking statements are subject to numerous assumptions, risks and uncertainties which could materially affect our business, financial condition or future results including, but not limited to, risks and uncertainties with respect to: the Company’s leverage; liabilities imposed by the Company’s debt instruments; market demand; competitive factors; supply constraints; material and energy costs; technology factors; litigation; government and regulatory actions; the Company’s accounting policies; future trends; general economic and currency conditions; various conditions specific to the Company’s business and industry; the spin-off from TriMas Corporation; our ability to successfully complete the acquisition of the Brink Group, including the possibility that the closing conditions to the contemplated acquisition may not be satisfied or waived; delay in closing the proposed acquisition of the Brink Group; risks inherent in the achievement of cost synergies and timing thereof in connection with the Brink Group acquisition, including whether the acquisition will be accretive; the Company’s ability to promptly and effectively integrate the Brink Group; the performance and costs of integration of the Brink Group; the timing and amount of repurchases of the Company’s common stock, if any; and other risks that are discussed in the Company’s most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q or Current Reports on Form 8-K. The risks described herein are not the only risks facing our Company. Additional risks and uncertainties not currently known to us or that we currently deemed to be immaterial also may materially adversely affect our business, financial position and results of operations or cash flows. We caution readers not to place undue reliance on such statements, which speak only as of the date hereof. We do not undertake any obligation to review or confirm analysts’ expectations or estimates or to release publicly any revisions to any forward-looking statement to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events.

Nordic Capital divests Brink Group to H2 Equity Partners

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Nordic Capital Funds VI and VII (“Nordic Capital”) have reached an agreement to sell Brink Group B.V. (“Brink”), a leading manufacturer of towbars, to H2 Equity Partners Fund IV (“H2”). The new owners will continue to support the company’s growth and strategy.

Brink is one of the global market leaders in towing systems. Brink develops, manufactures and sells fixed, detachable and retractable towbar systems in all major Western European aftermarkets and internationally to all major car manufacturers. Brink has approximately 600 employees in seven countries and five manufacturing locations in the Netherlands, France, UK and South Africa.

“During Nordic Capital’s ownership Brink has continuously invested in innovative projects as well as in expansion and renewal of the production setup. Since the spin-off from Thule Group, Brink has been able to continue developing its operations with full focus on its core business, which has benefitted the company”, says Hans Eckerström, representing Nordic Capital and Board member of Brink.

Gerrit de Graaf, CEO of Brink Group, comments: “We are pleased with this important step in the history of Brink Group. H2 is a leading European investment company with a hands-on attitude, connecting well with our ambition. The direction of the company set in the recent years, to provide and support our OE and AM customers with a ‘perfect fit’, will be rolled out further. I would like to thank Nordic Capital for their continuous support in the rollout of our strategy and accompanying investments during their ownership.”

Harmen Geerts, partner of H2: “The investment in Brink Group fits in the strategy of H2. Brink Group is a strong company, expanding and strengthening its leading role in the European tow bar market through a focus on innovation, marketing and product development. In line with this direction, substantial opportunities are apparent to further develop Brink Group.”

Brink Group is a spin-off of the towbar division from Thule Group. The spin-off took place in September 2014, and was in line with the strategic direction to allow both companies to continue with full focus on their respective core businesses.

The transaction is subject to fulfilment of various conditions, including clearance of relevant competition authorities.

Nordic Capital