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Dexter Axle, a Portfolio Company of The Sterling Group, Completes the Acquisition of Unique Functional Products

HOUSTON, Dec. 20, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The Sterling Group, a middle market private equity firm based in Houston, Texas, today announced that its portfolio company, Dexter Axle, has completed the acquisition of Unique Functional Products ("UFP").  Dexter is the leading designer and manufacturer of trailer axle, brake and suspension assemblies for industrial and utility trailer and RV markets. 

Headquartered in San Marcos, California, UFP is the leading innovator and provider of trailer axles and related braking system components to the recreational boating trailer market.  "UFP has a long and successful history in the marine industry, which is an important adjacency for Dexter Axle.  We look forward to strengthening our relationship with UFP's customers as well as offering Dexter's customers access to UFP's premium products." said Adam Dexter, CEO of Dexter Axle.  Bernie Goettker, CEO of UFP and new member of the Dexter management and design team commented, "Dexter and UFP are the leaders in our related industries so it only made sense to combine the two.  We are thrilled to partner with Dexter to provide the best quality trailer axles and brake systems to our combined customer base."

"This is an exciting time at Dexter Axle.  Dexter's historical end markets grew nicely in 2013 and have a strong outlook for 2014.  The company continues to improve its manufacturing and customer service capabilities to better serve its customers.  The acquisition of UFP allows Dexter to extend this strategy of excellence in manufacturing and customer service into the marine markets," said Kevin Garland, Partner at The Sterling Group.

Sterling acquired Dexter in a carve-out from Tomkins in November 2012. 

About Dexter Axle

Dexter Axle has been the leading manufacturer of trailer axles and trailer brakes for over 50 years for the utility trailer, recreational vehicle, heavy duty, manufactured housing, agricultural, marine, and specialty trailer markets.  Dexter products are American made in highly automated facilities in Indiana, Georgia and Oklahoma. Since 1960, OEMs have installed more than 45 million Dexter Axles with the assurance that they are providing a quality product that will enhance the safe operation of their trailers.  For more information, visit www.dexteraxle.com.

About The Sterling Group

Founded in 1982, The Sterling Group is a private equity investment firm that targets controlling interests in basic manufacturing, distribution and industrial services companies. Typical enterprise values of these companies range from $100 million to $500 million. Sterling has sponsored the buyout of 43 platform companies and numerous add-on acquisitions for a total transaction value of over $10.0 billion. Currently, Sterling has almost $1.0 billion of committed capital under management through three funds. Current portfolio companies include CST Industries, Universal Fiber Systems, Express, B&G Crane, Saxco International, Liqui-Box, Dexter Axle and Safe Fleet.

Past performance is no guarantee of future results and all investments are subject to loss.

SOURCE The Sterling Group

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