Levine Leichtman Capital Partners (“LLCP”), a Los Angeles-based private equity firm, announced today that it has partnered with management to complete the acquisition of Smith System Driver Improvement Institute, Inc. (“Smith”).  Based in Arlington, Texas, Smith is considered the pioneer and market leader in accident avoidance training for fleet vehicle drivers. Founded in 1952, Smith works with fleet managers of any vehicle type to provide training programs and content resources to change driver behaviors by focusing on Smith’s 5 Keys to On Road Driver Safety®. Smith has trained millions of drivers in over 100 countries and in 22 languages through its on-road, classroom, e-learning and new technology-based training and driver improvement programs making it the most comprehensive driver management solution provider.  

Smith is the third investment from Levine Leichtman Capital Partners Fund V, L.P.  According to Lauren Leichtman, Co-Founder and CEO of LLCP, “Smith System is a truly unique company offering its customers programs and content to invest in the safety of their employees, while also reducing accident rates and decreasing fleet operating costs.  We are excited to partner with Tony Douglas and the rest of the Smith senior management team and look forward to continuing its history of best-in-class training programs.”

Tony Douglas, Smith’s Chief Executive Officer, and his management team will retain  significant ownership in the company and will continue to lead Smith.  Regarding the transaction, Tony Douglas commented, “I am very excited about partnering with LLCP as the company seeks to further strengthen its global market position and advance into its next stage of growth.  LLCP has a long history of being a value-added partner to its portfolio companies through their strategic, financial and M&A expertise, and I expect our partnership to contribute meaningfully to the continued growth of our business.”

Smith System was advised by Robert W. Baird & Co. Incorporated.