Sterling partners with management teams to grow and build winning businesses in the industrial sector.
Nearly 80% of Sterling’s past partnerships have been with family businesses and corporate carve-outs. Sterling excels as a partner where it can bring its operational focus and expertise to a situation.
Sterling is focused on making majority investments in manufacturing, distribution and industrial service businesses and is interested in exploring partnerships of all sizes.
“We started our business in 1999 and grew it from just an idea to a leader in fleet video management. When it came time to sell, we were focused on finding the right partner for the next phase of our company’s growth. Sterling and Safe Fleet are building a company that didn’t exist before, just like we had. That appealed to us.” Chris Akiyama, Vancouver, British Columbia Head of Sales, Son of FounderSeon develops, manufactures, and markets mobile video surveillance systems for fleet vehicles. Seon helps transportation managers capture, record, view, and wirelessly download on-board security footage, quickly and reliably. Seon’s safety solution was a natural fit within Sterling’s Safe Fleet business, which provides safety related components to fleet vehicles. Owned by management and local high net worth individuals in Vancouver, Canada, Seon sought a buyer who could meet multiple transaction needs: liquidity for non-involved shareholders, roll-over opportunity for management, and an appreciation for the technology as part of larger safety solutions. The management team at SEON was an innovator of safety technology. There was a need within Safe Fleet for a video offering that could span a variety of different end markets. The opportunity existed for Seon management to run a fast growing division within the Safe Fleet organization. Before the combination, SEON sold to school bus and transit bus markets. The combination of their product with Safe Fleet’s broad range of fleet end markets resulted in growth and expansion. The company is benefitting from the scale and shared resources of a much larger organization. *The experience cited here is not necessarily reflective of all who have partnered with Sterling. Past performance does not guarantee future results.
“When you shook their hand, you knew you had a deal. I had dealt with other private equity firms, and there had been a lot of re-trading. That wasn’t the case with Sterling. Sterling has showed me ways to do things that I hadn’t realized before.” Xavier Grilletta, New Orleans, Louisiana Former CEO of B&G Crane ServiceHeadquartered in New Orleans, Louisiana, B&G Crane Service specializes in providing fully operated and maintained crane services, heavy rigging and specialty hauling services in the Louisiana and Texas Gulf Coast region. The second generation family owners were looking for a partner to help expand the business. The Grilletta family reinvested alongside Sterling and continued to be involved in the business post transaction. Together, Sterling and the family developed a plan to expand into Texas, a new geography for the company. This involved acquiring the assets of a competitor to help expedite the company’s expansion into Texas. The team also built out new crane yards in Baytown and Beaumont, Texas. During the partnership with Sterling, B&G’s addressable market and geographical footprint increased by three times. *The experience cited here is not necessarily reflective of all who have partnered with Sterling. Past performance does not guarantee future results.
“Our family office, which had owned DYK since 2008, had long wanted to acquire DYK's direct competitor, AAHC, but we needed a strong financial and operational partner to join us given the complexities of the transaction and post-merger integration.DYK and AAHC were long-time market participants in auto aftermarket distribution. For years, the owners of each debated who should buy whom. When discussions about a transaction began again in 2015, Dobbs, the owners of DYK sought a partner. Sterling shared the vision of creating a national leader that would be best in class, both commercially and operationally. Sterling was prepared to do the complicated transactional work of concurrently acquiring and immediately merging the two companies. Newly renamed Highline, the combined business offers a national footprint to the vendor community with 8 regional distribution centers and access to thousands of customers. The company is a multiple-channel market participant (traditional jobbers, auto retail, non-auto / specialty retail, e-commerce). To the customer, Highline aggregates thousands of SKUs and simplifies the supply chain. To vendors, Highline offers an effective route to thousands of smaller, hard to service accounts. A year after the initial combination, Highline acquired Service Champ, a third leader in the industry. We believe the combination of the three businesses has resulted in incremental opportunities for growth. Highline now has more than three times the scale of any one of its original businesses on a standalone basis. *The experience cited here is not necessarily reflective of all who have partnered with Sterling. Past performance does not guarantee future results.
Sterling's carve-out experience and strong execution capabilities stood out to us. Sterling was the right partner for us because we believed they had the expertise to work through both the transactional and operational challenges of simultaneously acquiring DYK and AAHC and then successfully operating the combined businesses which for so long had been fierce competitors.
Almost two years into our partnership, we are very pleased with our decision to partner with Sterling. We at Dobbs have been treated as a true partner all along the way. Not only has Sterling successfully led the integration of the companies while organically growing the business but also has led the subsequent acquisition of the leading targeted strategic platform company." Chris Crosby, Memphis, Tennessee Dobbs Management, former owners of DYK Automotive
“We were looking for the right partner for our family business. Sterling Group really worked with us and made the transaction a positive experience for our company, our family, and all of our employees” Ken Nolen, Birmingham, Alabama CEO of ProcessBarronProcessBarron designs, manufactures and installs industrial process fans and material handling systems, and provides follow-on service and maintenance for this equipment. The company manufactures, maintains, installs, repairs and replaces equipment in and around the power island of an industrial facility. ProcessBarron provides its services to various industries including pulp and paper, power, steel, cement, food, and agriculture. The family owners of ProcessBarron knew they were ready for a financial partner to help facilitate a family ownership transition, however they knew they did not want to sell to a large industry competitor. The family had participated in an auction several years before and had not been happy with the experience. Sterling had maintained a dialogue with the management team and had been researching the industry for many years. The family was not going to have to educate Sterling on the fundamentals of the business. Important to the family was a conservative capital structure and the ability to re-invest alongside Sterling. Based on all of these factors, Sterling was the right fit for ProcessBarron. *The experience cited here is not necessarily reflective of all who have partnered with Sterling. Past performance does not guarantee future results.
“Sterling enabled us to do things we couldn’t within a larger organization.”
Liqui-Box was the fourth business Sterling acquired from DuPont – the first was in 1986. DuPont needed a buyer to close on a certain time frame and work through the complexities of the carve-out transition.VIEW PARTNERSHIP
“They provided us with outstanding guidance to help us formulate a plan.”
Sterling and management worked together to further improve already strong operating practices and complete 10 acquisitions.VIEW PARTNERSHIP
“Sterling are guys who roll up their sleeves and get deeply involved.”
Sterling acquired ROM and SMI simultaneously, renaming the combined business Safe Fleet, and has built it into one of the largest fleet safety solution suppliers in North America offering thousands of products to nine different fleet end markets.VIEW PARTNERSHIP
Together, Sterling and the Stonecipher brothers combined five different manufacturers to create the second largest bathtub company in the US.VIEW PARTNERSHIP
“We wanted to acquire DYK’s direct competitor, but needed a partner.”
Sterling shared the vision of creating a national leader that would be best in class, both commercially and operationally. Sterling was prepared to do the complicated transactional work of concurrently acquiring and immediately merging the two companies.VIEW PARTNERSHIP
“The reason I keep partnering with them: if they say it, they’ll do it.”
Sterling has embarked on a plan to bring together multiple leading regional and local construction supply distributors.VIEW PARTNERSHIP