The Riverside Company has sold American Electronic Components to Siemens

The Riverside Company, one of the most active private equity firms focused on the middle market, today announced the sale of American Electronic Components (“AEC”) to Siemens VDO Automotive Corporation. AEC designs and manufactures sensors, used in automotive, heavy truck, off-highway applications. Lincoln Partners, a leading middle market investment bank headquartered in Chicago, represented The Riverside Company and AEC in the sale.

The deal further demonstrates the increased cross-border activity occurring in the middle market. Lincoln Partners and its strategic partner Peters Associates, based in Frankfurt, Germany, have been working together to foster North American and European cross-border transactions since March 2005. This deal represents the first U.S. business sold by Lincoln Partners to a German acquirer since the formation of the strategic partnership. By pursuing joint engagements on a global basis, the firms have found mutual success in providing their clients with combined industry experience and international relationships.

Lincoln Partners identified and recruited a broad range of strategic acquirers throughout the world to provide The Riverside Company with a buyer that would maintain AEC’s success as one of the leading U.S. providers of electronic sensors for automotive electronics. With Siemens VDO a global powerhouse in automotive electronics The Riverside Company was guaranteed a buyer that would strategically expand AEC’s unique product line as the demand for automotive sensors grows.

“The vast range of global strategic interest in this sale was impressive,” said Tim Gosline, partner of The Riverside Company. “Lincoln Partners promised to bring us a solid list of strategic buyers, but delivered a group of potential acquirers that was above and beyond our expectations.”

The deal also highlights the current strength of the automotive electronics market. As AEC continues to expand its market share, the sensor content as a whole continues to expand on virtually all vehicle platforms, resulting in strong forecasted growth for the market.

“The unconsolidated nature of the U.S. automotive sensor market has introduced unique opportunities for businesses like ours looking to further expand our product portfolio,” said David Royce, Director of Corporate Strategy in North America Siemens VDO. “Lincoln Partners’ efficient approach to the sale process combined with their automotive industry expertise allowed us to make an informed decision to acquire AEC that benefited all parties.”

Headquartered in Elkhart, Ind., AEC specializes in ABS brake, camshaft, crankshaft, transmission and ride height sensors offering both “Hall Effect” and variable reluctance (“VR”) sensing technology. AEC’s key customers include Allison Transmission, Bearing Technologies, BorgWarner, Caterpillar, Cummins, DaimlerChrysler, Deere, Delphi, Eaton, Ford, General Motors, Magna, SKF and Wanxiang, among others. For more than 65 years, AEC has distinguished itself in the North American market by demonstrating its technical innovation, versatility and innovative customer service.

Lincoln Partners managed preparatory, marketing, negotiation and due diligence phases of the deal, working with all parties to finalize the transaction. This transaction is the fifth assignment Lincoln Partners has closed in the transportation sector this year. The firm plans to close at least two more deals in the transportation industry before the end of the year.

About American Electronic Components

American Electronic Components designs and manufactures a broad range of specialized electrical and electronic components, including highly engineered custom sensors. For over 65 years, AEC has served automotive and industrial (under the DURAKOOL Brand) companies, developing a strong tradition of technical innovation, agility, rapid response and high reliability.

About The Riverside Company

The Riverside Company is the largest private equity firm focused on the small end of the middle market and is one of the industry’s most experienced leveraged buyout investors. Riverside specializes in premier companies with enterprise values of less than $100 million, and partners with strong management teams to build companies through acquisitions and value-added growth. Since 1988, the firm has invested in 114 transactions with a total value of $2.1 billion, sales of $2.4 billion, EBITDA of $263 million and 11,000 employees. Its current portfolio in the U.S. and Europe numbers 40. Riverside offers SureClose® (the highest certainty that a transaction will close) and the resources to complete acquisitions smoothly and in as little as 30 days – thanks to its sizeable pool of capital under management (nearly $1.3 billion in six funds and growing), large staff in eight offices (New York, Cleveland, Dallas, San Francisco, Budapest, Prague, Warsaw and Munich), and long-standing relationships with partner lenders. The firm has produced top quartile returns for its investors, which are among the world’s leading pension funds, endowments, funds-of-funds, insurance companies and banks. For more information, please visit the company’s Web site at

About Siemens VDO

Siemens VDO Automotive is an internationally leading automotive supplier of electronics and mechatronics. As a developmental partner with the automobile industry, the company manufactures a comprehensive spectrum of products relating to the drivetrain, engine management electronics and fuel injection that simultaneously improve engine performance and reduce emissions. Driver comfort is enhanced and driving is made easier with information and car communication systems that include instrumentation, audio and navigation equipment, telematics and multimedia applications, up to entire cockpit designs. Safety is increased by Siemens VDO products for the chassis and body such as airbags, ABS or access control systems. An in-house sales department markets products for retrofitting passenger cars and trucks with a focus on fleet management and audio and navigation systems. In 2004, Siemens VDO Automotive generated sales of EUR 9.0 billion. For more information, please visit the Company’s web site at

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