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Sales

November 10, 2020

The Sterling Group Completes the Sale of Highline Aftermarket

The Sterling Group, a middle market private equity firm, announced today that it has completed the sale of Highline Aftermarket Holdings, LLC (“Highline”) to Pritzker Private Capital.  Highline is a leading national distributor and manufacturer of automotive aftermarket products.

Sterling formed Highline in 2016 through the simultaneous acquisitions of DYK Automotive, owned by the Dobbs’ family office and AAHC, a corporate carve-out from Marubeni. In bringing together these two businesses, and through five subsequent acquisitions, Sterling built a leading company in the distribution and manufacture of consumables in the automotive aftermarket.

“Sterling’s deep experience in distribution and value added, hands-on approach to partnering with our management team, was instrumental in building Highline from a group of separate legacy businesses into an integrated, functionally organized, efficient market leader taking advantage of numerous growth opportunities,”  said Darcy Curran, Highline CEO.

“Working with Sterling, Darcy Curran and the entire Highline team drove exceptional execution,” said Gary Rosenthal, a Partner at The Sterling Group.  “During Sterling’s ownership, Highline has more than tripled in size, with every aspect of the business experiencing investment and significant improvement.  Additionally, consistent with Sterling’s practice, a large number of Highline employees became equity holders and will benefit substantially from the transaction.”

The Sterling Group has almost four decades of experience partnering with management teams to execute corporate carve-outs and family owned business transitions.  Over the last five years, five of Sterling’s new platforms, like Highline, have been formed through the initial simultaneous acquisition of two or more companies.

About Highline Aftermarket

Headquartered in Memphis, TN, Highline Aftermarket is a leading national distributor of automotive products, with fifteen distribution centers and eight manufacturing facilities serving multiple channels across the aftermarket industry. With more than 500 employees, Highline serves as a critical link between manufacturers and customers, offering a robust portfolio of national brands, original-equipment replacement products, private-label goods, and in-house chemical blending and packaging. Highline is the leading manufacturer of windshield wash in the U.S.

Additional information about Highline Aftermarket is available at www.highlineaftermarket.com.

About The Sterling Group

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 at initial formation range from $100 million to $750 million. Sterling has sponsored the buyout of 57 platform companies and numerous add-on acquisitions for a total transaction value of over $14.0 billion. Sterling recently closed its fifth investment fund with $2.0 billion in commitments and currently has over $4.0 billion of assets under management. For further information, please visit www.sterling-group.com.



Sales

October 08, 2020

The Sterling Group to Sell Highline Aftermarket

The Sterling Group, a middle market private equity firm, announced today that it has signed a definitive agreement to sell Highline Aftermarket Holdings, LLC (“Highline”) to Pritzker Private Capital. Highline is a leading national distributor and manufacturer of automotive aftermarket products. The transaction is expected to close by December 2020.

Sterling formed Highline in 2016 through the simultaneous acquisitions of DYK Automotive, owned by the Dobbs’ family office and AAHC, a corporate carve-out from Marubeni. In bringing together these two businesses, and through five subsequent acquisitions, Sterling built a leading company in the distribution and manufacture of consumables in the automotive aftermarket.

“Sterling’s deep experience in distribution and value added, hands-on approach to partnering with our management team, was instrumental in building Highline from a group of separate legacy businesses into an integrated, functionally organized, efficient market leader taking advantage of numerous growth opportunities,” said Darcy Curran, Highline CEO.

“Working with Sterling, Darcy Curran and the entire Highline team drove exceptional execution,” said Gary Rosenthal, a Partner at The Sterling Group. “During Sterling’s ownership, Highline has more than tripled in size, with every aspect of the business experiencing investment and significant improvement. Additionally, consistent with Sterling’s practice, a large number of Highline employees became equity holders and will benefit substantially from the transaction.”

The Sterling Group has almost four decades of experience partnering with management teams to execute corporate carve-outs and family owned business transitions. Over the last five years, five of Sterling’s new platforms, like Highline, have been formed through the initial simultaneous acquisition of two or more companies.

ABOUT HIGHLINE AFTERMARKET

Headquartered in Memphis, TN, Highline Aftermarket is a leading national distributor of automotive products, with fifteen distribution centers and eight manufacturing facilities serving multiple channels across the aftermarket industry. With more than 500 employees, Highline serves as a critical link between manufacturers and customers, offering a robust portfolio of national brands, original-equipment replacement products, private-label goods, and in-house chemical blending and packaging. Highline is the leading manufacturer of windshield wash in the U.S.

Additional information about Highline Aftermarket is available at www.highlineaftermarket.com.

ABOUT THE STERLING GROUP

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 $750 million. Sterling has sponsored the buyout of 57 platform companies and numerous add-on acquisitions for a total transaction value of over $14.0 billion. Currently, Sterling has over $4.0 billion of assets under management.

For more information, please visit sterling-group.com.



Sales

March 06, 2019

The Sterling Group Completes the Sale of Process Barron

The Sterling Group, an operationally focused middle market private equity firm, today announced that it has completed the sale of Process Barron to funds managed by Carousel Capital.

Headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama, Process Barron designs, manufactures and installs industrial process fans and material handling systems and provides follow-on service and maintenance for this equipment. Process Barron serves various industries including pulp and paper, power, steel, cement, food, and agriculture.

Sterling partnered with Process Barron’s management team, members of its founding family, in 2015.  “Important to our family was the right cultural fit and the ability to reinvest alongside our partners,” said Ken Nolen, CEO of Process Barron.  “Sterling has been the right partner for our family and for all employees. We look forward to future continued growth with Carousel Capital.”

Founded in 1982, Sterling has a long history of partnering with family owned businesses.  Recent family or entrepreneur owned partnerships include those with Tangent Technologies, Time Manufacturing, Construction Supply Group, and Evergreen North America.

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Houlihan Lokey and Willkie Farr & Gallagher advised Sterling on the transaction.

About The Sterling Group

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 $750 million. Sterling has sponsored the buyout of 54 platform companies and numerous add-on acquisitions for a total transaction value of over $10.0 billion. Currently, Sterling has over $1.9 billion of assets under management. For further information, please visit www.sterling-group.com.

Past performance is no guarantee of future results and all investments are subject to loss.



Sales

October 02, 2018

The Sterling Group Sells Specified Air Solutions to Madison Industries

The Sterling Group announced that it has completed the sale of Specified Air Solutions to Madison Industries.

Headquartered in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Specified Air Solutions is a multi-branded, commercial and industrial HVAC equipment manufacturer focused on providing end users with semi-custom, energy efficient solutions for indoor air quality, cooling, heating, and dehumidification needs. The company’s diverse product offering is utilized in a range of niche market applications, including education, hospitality, distribution warehouses, retail, community centers, vehicle service shops, commercial offices, and manufacturing facilities. The company complements Madison Industries’ suite of HVAC solutions that bring the highest possible indoor air quality.

Sterling launched the Specified Air Solutions platform in 2014 with the acquisition of Roberts-Gordon. Through a combination of organic growth initiatives and three acquisitions, the business has grown over three times in size. “Our goal was to help a formerly family operated company quickly grow into a leading commercial HVAC solutions provider,” said John Hawkins, a Partner at The Sterling Group. “In partnership with an exceptional and deep management team, Sterling transformed Specified Air Solutions into a winning business for employees, customers and investors alike.”

“Sterling was the right strategic, operational and financial partner for Specified Air Solutions’ recent period of strong growth. We look forward to capitalizing on the business’ momentum in partnership with Madison,” said Charley Brown CEO of Specified Air Solutions.

Since 1982, Sterling has been partnering with management teams of family owned businesses and corporate carve-outs to transform companies in the industrial sector. Sterling was advised by BlackArch Advisors and Bracewell LLP. Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.

 

About The Sterling Group

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 $750 million. Sterling has sponsored the buyout of 52 platform companies and numerous add-on acquisitions for a total transaction value of over $10.0 billion. Currently, Sterling has over $1.9 billion of assets under management. For further information, please visit www.sterling-group.com.

Past performance is no guarantee of future results and all investments are subject to loss.



Sales

February 01, 2018

The Sterling Group Completes the Sale of Safe Fleet to Oak Hill Capital Partners

The Sterling Group, an operationally focused middle market private equity firm, has completed the sale of Safe Fleet to funds managed by Oak Hill Capital Partners.  Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Headquartered in Belton, Missouri, Safe Fleet provides a wide variety of safety solutions for fleet vehicles, including the following end markets: bus, rail, RV, truck and trailer, work truck, law enforcement, emergency, waste, industrial and military end markets. In 2013, Sterling created Safe Fleet by simultaneously acquiring ROM Corporation and Specialty Manufacturing, Inc., two distinct businesses that made components for different types of fleet vehicles. Sterling and a strong management team led by John Knox have transformed the business strategically, operationally and commercially from two small component suppliers to a leader in safety solutions for fleet vehicles with attractive growth and margin profiles and significant scale.  The company completed ten strategic acquisitions under Sterling’s ownership.

“The creation and sale of Safe Fleet, a business that didn’t exist before Sterling’s initial acquisitions, is a case study in how Sterling rapidly implements its strategic, operational and commercial improvement strategies to build winning businesses in the industrial sector,” said Gary Rosenthal, Partner at The Sterling Group.  Four of the last six Sterling acquisitions have been comprised of simultaneous acquisitions to create a new platform.

Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC and Harris Williams & Co. served as financial advisors to Safe Fleet.   Willkie Farr & Gallagher acted as legal counsel.

About Safe Fleet

Headquartered in Belton, MO, Safe Fleet owns a portfolio of brands that provide safety solutions to fleet vehicle manufacturers and operators around the world.  These brands serve several major markets including: Bus, Rail, RV, Truck & Trailer, Work Truck, Law Enforcement, Emergency, Waste, Industrial and Military.  With over 1,100 employees and 10 manufacturing locations, Safe Fleet targets markets with increasing demand for operator, passenger, and pedestrian safety. For more information about Safe Fleet and our portfolio of brands please visit www.safefleet.net.

About The Sterling Group

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 $750 million. Sterling has sponsored the buyout of 52 platform companies and numerous add-on acquisitions for a total transaction value of over $10.0 billion. Currently, Sterling has over $2.2 billion of assets under management. For further information, please visit www.sterling-group.com.

Past performance is no guarantee of future results and all investments are subject to loss.



Sales

July 24, 2017

The Sterling Group Completes the Sale of DexKo Global Inc. to KPS Capital Partners

The Sterling Group, an operationally focused middle market private equity firm, completed the sale of DexKo Global Inc. (“DexKo”) to funds managed by KPS Capital Partners, LP.   Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

DexKo is the leading global supplier of highly engineered running gear technology, chassis assemblies and related components with over 130 years of trailer and caravan componentry experience. The company is headquartered in Novi, Michigan and employs over 4,500 employees with 39 manufacturing facilities and 25 distribution centers across the globe. Sterling formed DexKo at the end of 2015 through the combination of Dexter Axle and AL-KO Vehicle Technology.

“Sterling’s partnership with the deep and talented management team at DexKo has resulted in a complete transformation of the business over the last several years,” said Kevin Garland, a Partner at The Sterling Group.  “We look forward to the company’s future success in the years to come.”  Sterling will continue to own a minority stake in DexKo.

Goldman Sachs & Co. and J.P. Morgan Securities LLC served as financial advisors to DexKo.  Harris Williams & Co. acted a special advisor to the Board, and Willkie Farr & Gallagher acted as legal counsel.

About The Sterling Group

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 $750 million. Sterling has sponsored the buyout of 51 platform companies and numerous add-on acquisitions for a total transaction value of over $10.0 billion. Currently, Sterling has over $2.2 billion of assets under management. For further information, please visit www.sterling-group.com.

Past performance is no guarantee of future results and all investments are subject to loss.



Sales

May 30, 2017

The Sterling Group Agrees to Sell DexKo Global Inc. to KPS Capital Partners

The Sterling Group, an operationally focused middle market private equity firm, today announced a definitive agreement to sell DexKo Global Inc. (“DexKo”) to funds managed by KPS Capital Partners, LP.   Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

DexKo is the leading global supplier of highly engineered running gear technology, chassis assemblies and related components with over 130 years of trailer and caravan componentry experience. The company is headquartered in Novi, Michigan and employs over 4,500 employees with 39 manufacturing facilities and 25 distribution centers across the globe. Sterling formed DexKo at the end of 2015 through the combination of Dexter Axle and AL-KO Vehicle Technology.

“Sterling’s partnership with the deep and talented management team at DexKo has resulted in a complete transformation of the business over the last several years,” said Kevin Garland, a Partner at The Sterling Group.  “We look forward to the company’s future success in the years to come.”  Sterling will continue to own a minority stake in DexKo.

Completion of the transaction is expected in mid-2017 and is subject to customary closing conditions and approvals. Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan Securities LLC served as financial advisors to DexKo.  Harris Williams & Co. acted as a special advisor to the Board, and Willkie Farr & Gallagher acted as legal counsel.

About The Sterling Group

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 $750 million. Sterling has sponsored the buyout of 51 platform companies and numerous add-on acquisitions for a total transaction value of over $10.0 billion. Currently, Sterling has over $2.2 billion of assets under management. For further information, please visit www.sterling-group.com.

Past performance is no guarantee of future results and all investments are subject to loss.



Sales

October 02, 2015

The Sterling Group Completes the Sale of Universal Fiber Systems to HIG

The Sterling Group, a private equity firm based in Houston, Texas, announced that it has completed the sale of Universal Fiber Systems (“UFS”) to funds managed by HIG.

Headquartered in Bristol, Virginia, UFS is a leading manufacturer of high-performance, specialty synthetic fibers for niche segments of the commercial carpet, transportation carpet and specialty apparel industries. During Sterling’s ownership, EBITDA has grown by over 70% based on a series of strategic and operational initiatives focused on market share growth, international expansion and cost savings and other margin improvement programs. This growth was accomplished in the face of a difficult market environment for nearly half of the company’s business serving commercial construction customers.

“Sterling was fortunate to partner with such a strong management team, led by CEO Marc Ammen, to drive substantial EBITDA growth in the face of significant headwinds in UFS’ commercial construction end market,” said Kent Wallace, Partner at The Sterling Group. “The team’s tireless execution on a set of strategic and operational initiatives resulted in strong performance in a difficult environment.”

“Sterling’s support was instrumental in achieving new levels of profitability at our company,” said Marc Ammen, CEO. “We look forward to partnering with HIG to continue to grow the business and serve our loyal customers.”

Sterling focuses on implementing its operational investment strategy to fundamentally grow and improve North American based industrial businesses. The Sterling Group was advised on the sale by Baird and Bracewell & Guiliani.

About The Sterling Group

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 46 platform companies and numerous add-on acquisitions for a total transaction value of over $10.0 billion. Currently, Sterling has over $2.4 billion of assets under management. Current portfolio companies include CST Industries, Express, Saxco International, Dexter Axle, Safe Fleet, Specified Air Solutions, American Bath Group and ProcessBarron.

Past performance is no guarantee of future results and all investments are subject to loss.

 



Sales

October 01, 2015

The Sterling Group Completes the Sale of Liqui-Box to Olympus Partners

The Sterling Group, a private equity firm based in Houston, Texas, announced that it has completed the sale of Liqui-Box to funds managed by Olympus Partners. Sterling acquired the business from DuPont in 2011, its fourth carve-out from DuPont. Sterling has completed 22 corporate carve-outs since its inception in 1982.

Headquartered in Richmond, Virginia, Liqui-Box is a leading global player in the bag-in-box industry. The company designs and supplies liquid packaging systems to meet filling and dispensing needs across numerous end markets, including dairy, beverage, food, and wine.

Sterling engineered the complicated separation of the global Liqui-Box business from DuPont, established a new corporate headquarters, and implemented a wide variety of systems and processes so that the business could operate on a standalone basis. “Sterling’s long history executing corporate carve-outs, the first of which occurred in 1984, was a critical factor in our success with the Liqui-Box investment,” said Greg Elliott, Partner at The Sterling Group.

Sterling and management, led by CEO Ken Swanson, drove substantial organic EBITDA growth of over 45% during Sterling’s ownership period, but just as important established an independent company that will serve as a platform for strong future growth. “The company has improved operations, expanded into new geographies and end markets, and successfully reached new customers. The result is new levels of growth and profitability at Liqui-Box,” said Ken Swanson, CEO.

Sterling focuses on implementing its operational investment strategy to fundamentally grow and improve North American based industrial businesses. The Sterling Group was advised on the sale by Harris Williams & Co, and Willkie Farr & Gallagher.

About The Sterling Group

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 46 platform companies and numerous add-on acquisitions for a total transaction value of over $10.0 billion. Currently, Sterling has over $2.4 billion of assets under management. Current portfolio companies include CST Industries, Universal Fiber Systems, Express, Saxco International, Dexter Axle, Safe Fleet, Specified Air Solutions, American Bath Group and ProcessBarron.

Past performance is no guarantee of future results and all investments are subject to loss.

 



Sales

May 27, 2015

The Sterling Group Completes the Sale of B&G Crane Service to NCSG Crane

The Sterling Group, a private equity firm based in Houston, Texas, announced that it has completed the sale of B&G Crane Service (“B&G”) to NCSG Crane & Heavy Haul Corporation. Sterling acquired the business from the second generation family owners in 2010.

Headquartered in New Orleans, Louisiana, B&G specializes in providing fully operated and maintained crane services, heavy rigging and specialty hauling services in the Louisiana Gulf Coast region. Sterling partnered with the family owners to expand the business into Texas. During Sterling’s ownership, the company’s addressable market expanded by over three times. Resulting revenue and EBITDA growth was substantial.

“The Grilletta family had built a market leading, best-in-class business, and we were fortunate to have the opportunity to partner with them to continue to grow the business in Louisiana while also entering the Texas market,” said Kent Wallace, Partner at The Sterling Group. ”Sterling’s strategic and operational approach to investing in family-owned businesses resulted in strong returns for our partners in B&G.”

Xavier Grilletta, Operational Advisor at B&G commented, “Over the past several years, The Sterling Group has helped support meaningful growth at B&G and we greatly appreciate their sponsorship and support. Our family and the entire B&G team is looking forward to our new partnership with NCSG.”

During its 33 year history, Sterling has partnered with thirteen family- or entrepreneur-owned business owners to fundamentally grow and improve North American based industrial businesses. The Sterling Group was advised on the sale by RBC Capital Markets and Bracewell & Guiliani.

About The Sterling Group

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 46 platform companies and numerous add-on acquisitions for a total transaction value of over $10.0 billion. Currently, Sterling has over $1.2 billion of assets under management through two active funds. Current portfolio companies include CST Industries, Universal Fiber Systems, Express, Saxco International, Liqui-Box, Dexter Axle, Safe Fleet, Specified Air Solutions, American Bath Group and ProcessBarron.

 

Past performance is no guarantee of future results and all investments are subject to loss.