Azalea Capital Sells Sage Automotive Interiors, Inc.

May 9, 2011: Azalea Capital is pleased to announce the sale of Sage Automotive Interiors, Inc. to The Gores Group, a private equity firm headquartered in Los Angeles, CA. SAGE was Azalea’s first investment in its third investment fund, The Azalea Fund III, L.P. Other holdings of The Azalea Fund III, L.P. include KLMK, Inc., a healthcare consulting firm located in Richmond, VA, and Ivize, Inc., a litigation support services firm, located in Atlanta, GA.

Partnering with Gores in this transaction and remaining with the Company is the entire management team of SAGE led by Mr. Dirk Pieper, CEO, Mr. Brian McSharry, COO, and Mr. Dave Gable, the firm’s CFO.  Messrs. Pieper and McSharry are 32-year and 24-year veterans, respectively, of the business which was a Division of Milliken & Company until 2009, while Mr. Gable has been with SAGE for two years after formerly serving as CFO of Kemet Corporation.

“We have enjoyed our successful relationship with Azalea”, said Mr. Pieper. “With Azalea, SAGE was profitable from our first day together as a stand-alone, global automotive supplier, and Azalea provided us with excellent financial and management support. Gores also has a superb history of supporting the businesses it acquires, and with Gores’ resources we will further expand our global footprint as a leading automotive supplier.” Mr. Pieper added, “For all of our employees at SAGE, the transition from Azalea to Gores means business as usual.”
Jim Micali, Senior Advisor of Azalea, and outgoing Chairman of SAGE stated that “Azalea’s investment in SAGE was a rewarding experience for everyone involved, and we look forward to seeing SAGE become a larger force in the worldwide automotive industry. We wish the entire SAGE team and Gores much success in all their future endeavors.”
SAGE is one of the world’s leading providers of automotive bodycloth – seating, door panel surfaces, and headliners – to Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) such as Chrysler, Ford, GM, Honda, Hyundai, KIA, Toyota and Nissan. Global offices and manufacturing locations include the U.S., Japan, China, Brazil, Korea, and Europe. SAGE employs approximately 1,100 people globally, with approximately 800 residing and working in South Carolina.

Azalea Capital is actively seeking new investment opportunities for its third partnership, The Azalea Fund III, L.P. For questions or more information about Azalea Capital, please visit or contact Pat Duncan.