TriMas Corp agrees to acquire HammerBlow Towing Systems

TriMas Corp announced it has entered into an agreement to acquire HammerBlow Towing Systems Corporation - a manufacturer of towing, trailer and other vehicle accessories - for approximately $142 million on a debt-free basis. The acquisition is subject to customary conditions and is expected to close as soon as practicable. HammerBlow and its subsidiaries had estimated annual sales for the twelve months ended September 30, 2002, of $108 million.HammerBlow is presently controlled by The Riverside Company - a private equity firm - and will be integrated into TriMas' Cequent operating group."We're extremely pleased to proceed with this transaction," said Grant H. Beard, president and chief executive officer of TriMas. "The acquisition of HammerBlow Towing Systems represents, for TriMas, a strong investment in continued market leadership and profitable growth.""Cequent's vision is to be a global leader in transportation accessories and cargo management solutions, and this acquisition reflects our commitment to that vision," said Scott Hazlett, president of Cequent. "HammerBlow Towing Systems brings great products and strong brands to our portfolio, which is a wonderful complement to the current Cequent family of brands, and a much broader value proposition for our customers."The purchase of HammerBlow Towing Systems includes the following companies: The HammerBlow Corporation, incorporated in 1923 and based in Wausau, Wis., is a leader in agricultural, industrial, recreational, utility and construction trailer components; Hidden Hitch®, headquartered in Huntsville, Ontario, Canada, has been manufacturing a full line of premium under-the-bumper hitches and towing accessories since 1968; Tekonsha® Towing Systems, of Tekonsha, Mich., was founded more than 50 years ago and is the leading supplier and manufacturer of proportional brake controls; SurePull(tm) Towing Systems, of Sheridan, Ark., is a leading manufacturer of towing hitches and offers an array of accessories and electronic components.

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