Daily News: January 5, 2012

Huntington Capital Provides Debt Financing to Protect Plus Air

Huntington Capital Fund II, a San Diego based lower-middle market focused private equity fund, has announced the funding of a syndicated mezzanine loan to Protect Plus Air Holdings (PPAH), a newly formed holding company that will own a 100% interest in a multi-branded platform of five operating entities within the residential air filter category. Huntington Capital co-invested in the transaction with Plexus Capital Fund II, an SBIC mezzanine fund based in North Carolina and existing co-investor with Huntington in one of the PPAH platform entities.

Protect Plus Air Holdings was setup for the purpose of facilitating the roll up of five established air filtration companies majority owned and controlled by Hickory, NC based Lackey Group. On a combined basis the company is the 2nd largest residential air filtration company in the US, and represents a diverse portfolio of air filtration related products and brands including exclusive licenses with Arm & Hammer, Dupont, Febreze and proprietary brands such as Purafilter 2000 and True Blue. The newly formed business will leverage manufacturing and marketing synergies as well as provide the consolidation of operating and distribution systems.

The Lackey Group brings 30-plus years of experience managing the development and delivery of product within the retail channel throughout the United States. These businesses employ approximately 1,000 people across the nation.

The Lackeys have spent the past few years developing brands, distribution networks and improving the operating metrics of the individual entities and believed that this was an opportune time to consolidate the entities under a single holding company and drive further growth and strengthen their position as a leader in the air filtration space.