Tonka Bay Announces the Sale of Checkers

MINNETONKA, Minn.  (November 20, 2014) —Tonka Bay Equity Partners LLC announced the sale of Checkers Industrial Safety Products (“Checkers”) to Audax Private Equity, a Boston-based private equity firm. Based in Broomfield, Colorado, Checkers is a leading designer, manufacturer, and marketer of branded industrial products dedicated to vehicular safety, asset protection, and workplace safety. 

The investment in Checkers was the result of a successful Tonka Bay Investor/CEO strategy.  The firm partnered with an industry executive to execute a focused search targeting safety products companies.  The investment thesis was to capitalize on a highly fragmented market of niche, high-margin safety-related businesses with add-on acquisition opportunities.

In December 2010, Tonka Bay led a recapitalization of Checkers with the founder.  During Tonka Bay’s ownership period, Checkers completed three add-on acquisitions, recruited an experienced and active board of directors, and built a talented senior management team.  The company also executed other growth initiatives including international expansion and new product development.

“Given their attractive portfolio of branded safety products, compelling customer value proposition, global reach, and strong management team, Checkers proved to be a successful investment for Tonka Bay,” said Shane Slominski, Principal at Tonka Bay.  “Ray Torres and his management team have done a tremendous job establishing the company as a growth platform.” 

“Tonka Bay has been a value-added partner,” said Ray Torres, CEO of Checkers. “They have provided guidance and capital to make strategic investments, which has allowed us to accelerate growth and further establish Checkers as an industry leader of safety products.”

About Checkers

Based in Broomfield, Colorado, Checkers is a leading designer, manufacturer, and marketer of branded industrial products dedicated to vehicular safety, asset protection, and workplace safety.  Through continued growth and innovation, Checkers is poised and positioned to continue to serve as a leading global provider of industrial safety products.  Checkers’ website is www.checkersindustrial.com.

About Tonka Bay Equity Partners
Based in Minnetonka, MN, Tonka Bay Equity Partners is a private equity firm that acquires and invests in lower middle market businesses in the highly-engineered manufacturing, business services and value-added distribution sectors. For more information, call (952) 345-2035 or visit tonkabayequity.com.


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