19 Aug New Water Portfolio Company Sea Link International Acquires Hicks Plastics
Add-On to New Water’s Auto Lighting Platform Expands Domestic Assembly Capabilities
August 20, 2019, BOCA RATON, Fla. —Private equity firm New Water Capital L.P. announced that one of its portfolio companies, Sea Link International, has acquired Hicks Plastics Company, a leading Tier II provider of injection molded and metallized automotive forward lighting components. Hicks Plastics is headquartered in Macomb, Michigan, near Detroit, with a secondary facility located in Knoxville, Tennessee.
The acquisition, which represents the fourth addition to New Water Capital’s automotive lighting platform, further bolsters Sea Link’s domestic manufacturing and assembly capabilities and will allow Sea Link to better serve its customers across the automotive spectrum. “Hicks’ technical acumen and its long-standing reputation for quality and customer service, combined with its manufacturing footprint ideally located in the automotive hubs of Michigan and Tennessee, make it a perfect fit for our growing lighting platform,” said New Water Capital partner Brian McGee.
Tim Hicks, a second-generation owner of Hicks Plastics, will join Sea Link as a vice president, while continuing to serve as president of Hicks Plastics and oversee its day-to-day operations. Hicks’ operations will be unaffected and will continue to deliver the highest level of quality and service its customers have come to expect. “We are pleased to announce our partnership with Sea Link and are very excited about this new phase of our company’s evolution,” Hicks said. “We look forward to continuing to support Hicks’ longstanding customers and believe this combination with Sea Link will allow us to better serve them in all facets of their operations.”
“The addition of Hicks Plastics to our automotive lighting platform will allow us to further integrate Sea Link’s in-house manufacturing and assembly capabilities,” said Sea Link President and CEO Eric Showalter. “This important acquisition will give us increased flexibility and capacity to respond quickly and nimbly to changing market, political and economic conditions.”
New Water Capital first invested in the automotive lighting design and manufacturing sector with the recapitalization of Sea Link International, a leading provider of design support and manufacturer of high-precision automotive lighting components servicing global Tier 1 and OEM customers, in March 2016. Myotek Industries, a leading Tier 1 OEM transportation LED lighting designer, manufacturer and supplier, was added to New Water’s portfolio in October 2017. In November 2018, Sea Link acquired Amptech Inc., a leading value-added manufacturer of electronics and electrical assemblies based in Manistee, Michigan.
Hicks Plastics was represented in the transaction by MBS Advisors of Florence, Massachusetts.
About Hicks Plastics Company Inc.
Hicks Plastics was founded in 1988 by Carl Hicks, who started the company with a single injection molding machine. Over the ensuing 30 years, Carl and his son Tim together grew Hicks Plastics Company into a leading supplier of decorative and non-decorative injection molded components and sub-assemblies primarily for the automotive lighting industry. For decades, Hicks has specialized in vacuum metallization, a decorative process capable of producing a wide range of metallized finishes for plastic parts. The company also provides engineering, tooling support, project management, and design-for-manufacturing services.
About New Water Capital L.P.
New Water Capital L.P. is a private equity firm focused on lower-middle market companies in transition, in the consumer, retail and industrial manufacturing and services sectors, with revenues of $30 million to $300 million. New Water Capital’s collaborative transaction and operating model is built specifically to support companies in transition, building on their unique cultures and strengths. For more information, please visit www.newwatercap.com.