Daily News: June 20, 2013

Babson Supports High Road’s Investment in The Crown Group

Babson Capital Management announced that it provided subordinated debt and made an equity co-investment to support High Road Capital Partners’ acquisition of The Crown Group. High Road partnered with Westport, CT-based Charter Oak Equity on the transaction.

Founded in 1950, Warren, MI-based The Crown Group is a provider of coating services and solutions to the automotive, agricultural, heavy truck and other industrial markets. The company’s services include pre-treatment, acid-cleaning, electro-coating (e-coating), powder top-coating, water-based spray coating and cavity wax coating.

“High Road Capital Partners and Babson Capital have enjoyed a long and successful collaboration, and we are pleased to work with the Mezzanine & Private Equity Group on our investment in The Crown Group,” said William C. Connell, partner at High Road Capital Partners. “As one of the leading providers of mezzanine debt to the lower end of the middle market, Babson Capital has the experience, expertise, responsiveness and reliability that sponsors need to bring transactions to a successful close.”

“Babson Capital deeply values our 20-year relationship with High Road Capital’s principals, including Bob Fitzsimmons and Bill Connell, and we are delighted to have the opportunity to invest alongside them once again,” said Michael L. Klofas, managing director and head of the U.S. Mezzanine & Private Equity Group. “The Crown Group has carved out a strong market position by offering top-quality coating services and integrating itself into customers’ supply chains with value-added services such as direct shipping, inventory management, bar coding and packaging services. With new capital and operating support, we believe The Crown Group is well positioned to take advantage of the favorable trend in vehicle sales in the North American market, and we look forward to participating in their success.”

High Road Capital Partners is a private equity firm focused on smaller middle-market transactions.

Babson Capital Management and its subsidiaries serve institutional investors around the globe.