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Riverside Acquires German Auto Accessory Leader Rameder January 27, 2011

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Riverside Europe Fund IV closes sixth major investment

Leutenberg, Germany – January 27th, 2011 – Global private equity firm The Riverside Company has acquired Rameder Anhängerkupplungen und Autoteile GmbH & Co. KG.

Rameder is a market leader in the distribution of automotive carrier systems and related accessories in Germany. The firm offers tow bars for almost any make and model car sold in Europe. In 2009, the Company sold approximately 200,000 tow bars. In addition, Rameder also offers roof racks, bicycle racks, ski boxes and other carrying accessories.

Complementing its headquarters in Germany, Rameder has operations in Austria and Poland, giving the firm a strong foothold in Central and Eastern Europe. The Company has achieved its strong market position through a unique combination of an effective online sales strategy, sophisticated logistics processes and exceptional customer service.

“We’re delighted to acquire a Company that is a clear regional leader in a niche market. The current management team has done a tremendous job in achieving a high level of operational efficiency, while consistently growing the business, regardless of the broader economic climate. We look forward to partnering with management in an effort to continue the growth of Rameder” said Riverside Partner Volker Schmidt.

“The Riverside Company has a strong track-record of helping its portfolio companies grow. While we operate in a stable segment of the automotive industry, we have nonetheless been able to continually grow our market share in Germany. Now we look forward to the support of Riverside, to continue on this growth path, taking advantage of opportunities we see outside of our current core markets.” said Dirk Schöler, Rameder’s current CEO.

To support these efforts, the shareholders have appointed Karel Bos, former CEO of the Bosal Group, to lead Rameder as its new CEO, and Jan Goesaert, former Managing Partner Corporate Finance at Ernst & Young, will assume the position of CFO.

The European automotive aftermarket sector generated total revenues of €103 billion in 2009. Revenues in Germany alone accounted for €29 billion, or 28%, with consumables and accessories accounting for 10% or €2.9 billion. The performance of the sector is forecast to accelerate, with an anticipated value of €111.4 billion by the end of 2014, of which the German automotive aftermarket sector is expected to account for €31 billion.

The Riverside team responsible for the transaction included Partner Volker Schmidt and Vice Presidents Balázs Tahy and Justin Kent. Riverside Partner Karsten Langer, who originated the deal, said “We are excited about this acquisition. By leveraging Riverside’s experience in online retail and international expansion, Rameder should be able to further improve its market position and core operational competencies, to grow in regions outside of Germany.”

Other major REF IV portfolio companies include Capol, a Hamburg-based provider of glazing agents for the confectionary industry and The Arena Group, one of the world’s best-known designers, manufacturers and distributors of competitive waterwear.

Rameder
Founded in 1996, Rameder is the leading German distributor of automotive carrier systems, including tow bars, roof bars, bicycle carriers, roof boxes and other related accessories. The Company has over 4,000 different tow bars on stock, which are fixed, detachable or retractable. The Company’s headquarters is located in Leutenberg OT Munschwitz. For additional information please visit www.kupplung.de.

The Riverside Company
The Riverside Company is a global private equity firm that acquires growing enterprises valued at up to €200 million in Europe. The firm partners with strong management teams and enhances its investments through acquisitions and organic growth. Since its founding in 1988, Riverside has invested in over 245 transactions with a total enterprise value of more than €4.7 billion. The firm’s portfolio in North America, Europe and the Asia Pacific region includes 75 companies with roughly 13,000 employees. Riverside completes acquisitions smoothly thanks to €2.4 billion in assets under management, more than 195 professionals in 19 offices, and longstanding relationships with partner lenders.

Media Contacts

North America and Asia Pacific
Graham Hearns
Director of Marketing and Communications
The Riverside Company
216-535-2221

Europe

Pablo FuenteAssistant Director of Marketing and Communications
The Riverside Company
+32 47485911

Media Contact

Keith Davisson
Director, Global Marketing & Communications
The Riverside Company
+1 216 535 1777