Thule to acquire Brink, Valley and SportRack

Thule, the world leader in Sports Utility Transportation, announces the intent to acquire Brink International BV, Valley Industries and Sport¬Rack Accessories, all subsidiaries of US based Advanced Accessory Systems (AAS).
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Thule, the world leader in Sports Utility Transportation, announces the intent to acquire Brink International BV, Valley Industries and Sport¬Rack Accessories, all subsidiaries of US based Advanced Accessory Systems (AAS). Brink and Valley are leading European and North American players for towbars while Canadian SportRack Accessories offers load carriers and rooftop boxes. The companies have annual sales of SEK 1.83 billion (€ 197 M) and they employ 1,400 co-workers at seven European and three North American sites. The acquisition is conditional upon various factors including clearance from European anti-trust authori-ties.

“Towing systems are a new product segment in our business model which offers transportation solutions for active consumers wanting to transport their gear by vehicles safely, easily and in style”, comments Anders Pettersson, President and CEO of Thule.

About Thule
Thule is the world leader within Sports Utility Transportation delivering transportation solutions for active families and outdoor enthusiasts wanting to transport their equipment by vehicles safely, easily and in style. The product portfolio comprises load carriers for cars such as rooftop boxes, roof rails and bike carriers. Additionally, the company offers snow chains, trailers as well as accessories for motor homes and caravans. Thule has 2,300 employees at over 20 production and sales locations on all major car markets in North America, Europe, Africa and Asia. Sales in 2005 amounted to SEK 3.2 billion (approx € 340 M). Thule AB is based in Malmö, Sweden, and majority owned by UK-based private equity firm Candover (www.candover.com) . More information is available at www.thule.com.

About Brink, Valley and SportRack
Brink International, Valley Industries and SportRack Accessories are currently divisions of US based Advanced Accessory Systems LLC. AAS is a leading global supplier of roof rack systems, towing systems and related lifestyle accessories to the automotive industry. AAS consists of four operating business units. Three of those will be divested to Thule including Brink International BV (towbars), Valley Industries (US towing products for the aftermarket) and SportRack Accessories (load carriers). The fourth, SportRack Inc. (roof racks/rails for OEM delivery to the Automotive industry), will be retained by current owner Castle Harlan, the US based private equity firm who has owned AAS since 2003. More information is available at www.advancedaccessorysystems.com and www.castleharlan.com

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