December 13, 2023
Deerfield Beach, FL – VSS Group has today announced its acquisition of Cilajet, LLC (“Cilajet” or the “Company”). Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Cilajet is headquartered in Gardena, CA and is VSS Group’s sixth add-on acquisition since partnering with Kinderhook in 2016.
VSS Group, headquartered in Deerfield Beach, FL, is a premier provider of automotive protection products and services specializing in turnkey solutions for the automotive dealership industry. Among its flagship offerings are NitroFill, LLC (“NitroFill”), an innovative customer retention and profitability program tailored for franchise automotive dealers, complete with a suite of end-to-end tire protection benefits. Additionally, VSS Group offers Alacarte, a cutting-edge web-based Software as a Service (SaaS) platform designed for efficient addendum and dealer-added inventory management.
Established in 2007 by Jaci Warren, Cilajet has emerged as the industry-leading provider of aviation grade exterior and interior appearance protection products. With a focus on serving automotive and RV dealerships nationwide, Cilajet sells high-quality interior and exterior protection products with accompanying warranty solutions.
The acquisition of Cilajet aligns with VSS Group’s strategic expansion plans allowing for increased market reach, expanded product offerings, and access to new distribution channels. The acquisition will further strengthen VSS Group’s vision of becoming the number one addendum and pre-load solution for automotive dealers nationwide.
“VSS Group is thrilled with the addition of the Cilajet business as we chart the future growth of our company,” says Boyd Lipham, CEO of VSS Group. “This acquisition adds another strong brand to our portfolio of offerings which will help create a more robust bundle for our dealer partners and increase our presence in the marketplace. We are excited to welcome the Cilajet team to the VSS Group platform and look forward to growing jointly across our existing distribution channel while also reaching new networks.”
Kinderhook recently closed on a continuation fund which included VSS Group, capitalized by AlpInvest Partners, a subsidiary of global investment firm Carlyle (NASDAQ: CQ), and a leading group of limited partners. Paul Cifelli, Managing Director at Kinderhook, stated, “The new fund provides VSS Group with additional committed capital to execute organic growth initiatives and to pursue strategic acquisitions like Cilajet. We are incredibly excited to have the Cilajet team join the team at VSS Group. The combination of the businesses creates a comprehensive portfolio of F&I products to better serve the needs of a diverse set of customers.”
“After 17 years of growing Cilajet from the ground up, now is the time to take Cilajet to higher levels, and I am honored to serve on the VSS Group Board of Directors,” says Jaci Warren, Founder of Cilajet. “I have enjoyed working with the VSS Group team this year, and believe this opportunity creates great synergy and focus for the betterment of our agents, dealers and customers.”
Kirkland & Ellis LLP served as legal counsel to Kinderhook and VSS Group. Fox Rothschild LLP served as legal counsel to Cilajet. Truist provided financing for VSS Group to complete the transaction. Piper Sandler & Co. advised Cilajet on the transaction.