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Gores Group Acquires Clark Holdings

The target, a New York-based provider of freight forwarding services, was looking to go private

Private equity firm Gores Group LLC completed its acquisition of Clark Holdings Inc., a New York-based provider of freight forwarding services, for roughly $5.5 million, or 46 cents per share.

The deal, announced in September, concludes a sale process that began when the parent company of Clark Group Inc. hired Atlanta-based investment boutique Eve Partners LLC to manage an auction.

“The management team was very much interested in taking the company private,” says Gores partner Mike Adkins, adding that Clark was looking to alleviate the costs associated with being a public company as well as opportunities to grow including future bolt-on acquisitions.

Los Angeles-based Gores will fold Clark’s three subsidiaries—Clark Distribution Systems, Highway Distribution Systems and Clark Worldwide Transportation—into a holding company that will provide customers with a single source supply chain solution for a customer base that consists primarily of publishers, printers and distributors of magazines and books.

Four out of five of Clark’s board of directors will be Gores partners, with “[no] layoffs anticipated,” as a result of the transaction, Adkins says.

Trenton, N.J.-based Clark, is the latest investment for Gores which, over the past year, has maintained a steady pace of new investments and exits. It was done through Gores’ third fund, Gores Capital Partners III LP, which it closed in February at $2 billion, concluding a two-year fundraising effort that began in March 2009 and topped its initial $1.5 billion target, according to U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filings.

In addition to Clark, Gores announced in September plans to buy Alpheus Communications from Genesis Park and El Paso Corp., along with the entire share capital of bankrupt Point Blank Solutions Inc., a maker of bullet proof vests.

A month earlier it merged its Westwood One Inc. portfolio company with Dial Global, a unit of Oaktree Capital Management LLC's Triton Media Group LLC.

Gores bought Scovill Fasteners, a maker of non-apparel fasteners, a wholly-owned unit of GSC Partners’ CDO Fund Ltd. in June. Before that, it teamed with the management of Sage Automotive Interiors Inc., a wholesaler of automotive bodycloth, to purchase the company from Azalea Capital LLC in May.

Last December, the firm sold Vincotech to Mitsubishi Electric Corp. after a quick two-and-a-half-year holding period and then proceeded to sell Lineage Power through a $520 million deal to General Electric.

 

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