Business Continues Moving Forward with New Sky Slider Roof System

SOUTHGATE, Mich., Aug. 10 // — After voluntarily filing for chapter 11 protection on May 2, 2007, American Specialty Cars Incorporated (ASC) has sold a majority of its assets to Hancock Park Associates of Los Angeles, Calif.

Hancock Park Associates signed a definitive agreement to purchase ASC’s open air and creative services assets on May 1, 2007. The acquisition was approved by the federal bankruptcy court on June 22, 2007 and was recently finalized.

The transaction represents a strategic addition to Hancock Park Associates’ automotive holdings, as the firm is also the majority investor in Saleen Incorporated, a specialty vehicle manufacturer headquartered in Irvine, Calif. Kevin Listen, a Hancock Park Associates partner, noted the significance of ASC’s expertise in design and body engineering, and his intention to capitalize on the synergies found by connecting ASC to Saleen’s powertrain and chassis capabilities.

Paul Wilbur will remain as President and CEO of ASC. In addition, a majority of the executive team, including Chris Theodore, and a large portion of the hourly and salary staff members will continue moving forward with ASC. Long time ASC executives Steve Laurain and Mark Trostle will lead the Open Air and Creative Services divisions, respectively.

The assets of the remaining ASC divisions not included in the acquisition, now known collectively as St. James Inc., are still under bankruptcy court protection. These assets include the discontinued operations relating to vehicle painting, composites and past-model service business units.

Hancock Park Associates also assumed liabilities under certain supplier contracts that supported ASC’s open air and creative services divisions, and related past invoices are being paid according to protocol established by the bankruptcy court.

Now free from heavy overhead related to the early termination of the Chevrolet SSR and its old paint and composites divisions, ASC has a strong balance sheet that is poised for profitable growth in the open air and creative services businesses. This month, ASC and Jeep will introduce yet another open air innovation to the U.S. market — the new Sky Slider roof. The full open air roof option offers a convertible-like experience in SUVs and Crossovers at an affordable price point. Early dealer orders are strong for this innovative roof system.

ASC is a supplier of highly engineered and designed roof systems, body systems and other specialty-vehicle systems for the world’s automakers. The company was founded in 1965 and is headquartered in Southgate, Mich. For more information, visit