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Lippert acquires Innovative Design Solutions

Lippert acquires Innovative Design Solutions

ELKHART, — Drew Industries  today announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Lippert Components, Inc., has acquired Innovative Design Solutions, Inc. (IDS), a Troy, Michigan-based designer, developer and manufacturer of electronic systems encompassing a wide variety of RV applications.

IDS also manufactures electronic systems for automotive, medical and industrial applications.

“We are excited to have IDS and its employees join the Lippert Components family,” said Drew’s Chief Executive Officer Jason Lippert. “The talented team of engineers we have added from IDS are leaders in electronic systems for RVs and other industries. In the past several years, the IDS team, alongside the Lippert Components team, has been responsible for developing unique electronic products for the RV industry. IDS will now have an even sharper focus on developing innovative products for our RV customers, as well as customers in adjacent industries.”

IDS had annual sales of approximately $19 million in 2013, of which $13 million were to Lippert Components.

Lippert said he believes the additional product lines and diversified customer base will accelerate Lippert Components’ expansion into adjacent industries.

The purchase price was $36.0 million, of which $34.2 million was paid at closing from available cash and borrowings under the company’s $75 million line of credit, with the balance to be paid out annually over the subsequent three years, plus contingent consideration based on future sales. Drew expects the acquisition to be immediately accretive to earnings.

“The products IDS manufactures are central to the control of several RV components, including electronic leveling systems, jacks, lights, slide-out mechanisms, awnings, tire pressure monitoring systems, among others,” said Lippert. “Many of IDS’s RV products are already included in components we sell, including a Wi-Fi enabled, touch-screen, Android-based device that enables RV owners to control several RV functions. Having multiple functions connected through one control device should help improve our customers’ manufacturing efficiencies, as well as provide a strong selling point for retail customers. Becoming the manufacturer of these products should also allow us to develop and deliver these products to our customers more efficiently.”

Rob Ford, former owner of IDS, has entered into an employment agreement with Lippert Components and will continue to manage the business. Ford said he expects to see the business flourish.

“We are pleased that the business we have worked so hard to grow will continue to be managed by our outstanding team,” he explained. “Electronics have become a larger part of day-to-day life, and our innovative team has continued to identify opportunities to bring ideas and improvements to the industries we supply.

“This acquisition provides a unique and exciting opportunity to bring modern electronics to RV manufacturers and the RV aftermarket, which will result in a better RV user experience,” said Ford. “Combining Lippert Components’ and IDS’s experience and technologies should open up exciting opportunities for safety, control and interface electronic products. With the strategic, financial, sales and marketing support that Lippert Components provides, we are confident that the IDS business will continue to grow.”

SOURCE: Lippert Components press release

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About Greg Gerber

Greg Gerber is a freelance writer and podcaster who has been writing about the RV industry since 2000. He is the former editor of RV Daily Report.

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