Velcon Filters, LLC, a manufacturer of industrial filtration systems, today announced that it has acquired Warner Lewis GmbH. Velcon is a portfolio company of The Sterling Group, a middle market private equity firm based in Houston, Texas, and was acquired in 2009 as a platform to execute a buy-and-build strategy.
Headquartered in Kelsterbach, Germany with locations in Phillipsburg, Germany; Farnborough, UK; Paris, France; and Dubai, UAE; Warner Lewis offers aircraft refueling solutions to customers in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (“EMEA”). Warner Lewis has been a strategic business partner of Velcon for over 40 years distributing Velcon’s line of products, in addition to manufacturing its own standard or custom vessels, pit-boxes and ground fueling products. The acquisition of Warner Lewis represents an opportunity for Velcon to directly serve customers in EMEA.
Velcon manufactures filtration systems, primarily for the jet fuel market, including vessels and replacement cartridges which meet specific requirements for fluid filtration processes in a variety of domestic and international end-markets. Keith McAslan, President of Velcon said, “Since 1969, Warner Lewis has been the recognized leader for aircraft fueling components and solutions in EMEA and has been Velcon’s exclusive distributor in that region. As Velcon looks toward its 60th anniversary in 2013, we are pleased to join with Warner Lewis and directly provide a broader range of products and solutions to our aviation customers in the Americas and EMEA.”
This is the third acquisition for Velcon in the past three years. Velcon acquired Chemflo in late 2009 to expand its product offering into the energy markets, and in 2010 acquired Twin Filter B.V. in the Netherlands to diversify and grow its business in the oil, liquid and air filtration markets. “We are excited to expand in the aviation fuel market where Velcon is a market leader in filtration and Warner Lewis is a trusted provider of filtration and refueling solutions,” Greg Elliott, Partner of The Sterling Group and Chairman of the Board of Velcon said. “Velcon’s acquisitions over the past three years have strengthened the global footprint, scale and organic growth opportunities of the business, and we expect that Warner Lewis will have a significant impact as well.” The acquisition was financed with debt from BNP Paribas, Amegy Bank of Texas and BBVA Compass.
About Velcon Filters, LLC
Velcon Filters, LLC, headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colorado, is a niche manufacturer of filtration systems, including vessels and replacement cartridges, that meet specific requirements for fluid filtration processes in a variety of domestic and international end-markets. The company’s aviation division, through Velcon branded product lines, is a global leader in the filtration process for aviation fuel delivery, engineering and manufacturing products that filter, purify and remove water and containments from aviation fuel along the transport chain from the refinery to the aircraft. Velcon’s process division, through its Twin Filter brand, engineers, manufactures and markets equipment and replacement cartridges for the oil, liquid and air filtration markets in Europe, Asia, North America and other international markets.
About The Sterling Group, L.P.
Founded in 1982, The Sterling Group is a private equity investment firm that targets controlling interests in basic manufacturing, distribution and industrial services companies. Typical enterprise values of these companies range from $100 million to $500 million. Sterling has sponsored the buyout of 41 platform companies and numerous add-on acquisitions for a total transaction value of approximately $9.5 billion. Currently, Sterling has $1.2 billion of committed capital under management through three funds. Current portfolio companies include North American Energy Partners, CST Industries, Roofing Supply Group, Universal Fiber Systems, Velcon Filters, Express, B&G Crane Service, Saxco International, Stackpole International and Liqui-Box.