News

Acquisition

Houston, TX April 27, 2015

Safe Fleet, A Portfolio Company of The Sterling Group, Acquires Elkhart Brass

The Sterling Group, a private equity firm based in Houston, Texas, announced that its portfolio company, Safe Fleet Investments LLC, has completed the acquisition of Elkhart Brass. Safe Fleet is the market leader in providing safety solutions for fleet vehicles. The company designs and manufactures safety-oriented components for the emergency vehicle, truck and trailer, utility vehicle, school bus, and transit bus end markets. Elkhart Brass is Safe Fleet’s third acquisition in the last fifteen months and further broadens Safe Fleet’s extensive, safety-oriented product offering, in line with its on-going growth strategy. Elkhart Brass is an innovative manufacturer of fire fighting and fire protection equipment, including monitors, valves, nozzles, appliances and accessories used in virtually every aspect of fire fighting. “We are excited to welcome Elkhart Brass into the Safe Fleet family. The combination of Elkhart Brass with FRC and Foam Pro will enable us to develop integrated systems of monitors, valves, foam proportioning and electronic controls for the global emergency market,” said John R. Knox, President & CEO of Safe Fleet. “This acquisition supports our vision to build the leading global provider of safety solutions for fleet vehicles.”

Safe Fleet was formed in 2013 through the simultaneous acquisitions of ROM Corporation and Specialty Manufacturing Inc. The growing Safe Fleet portfolio includes ten leading brands serving the safety and productivity needs for a variety of end markets. “Safe Fleet is committed to increasing its ability to provide critical safety products to its loyal customer base,” said Brian Henry of The Sterling Group. Safe Fleet will continue to pursue new acquisition opportunities to expand the products and solutions it offers its fleet vehicle customers.

About Safe Fleet

Headquartered in Belton, MO, Safe Fleet owns a portfolio of brands that provides safety-oriented components and integrated solutions for fleet vehicle manufacturers and operators around the world. These brands serve five major markets including: emergency services, bus and rail, truck and trailer, utility, and industrial. With almost 1000 employees, the Safe Fleet family of brands operates over 500,000 square feet of manufacturing space and targets markets with increasing demand for operator, passenger and pedestrian safety. For more information about Safe Fleet please visit www.safefleetsolutions.com.

About The Sterling Group, L.P.

Founded in 1982, The Sterling Group, L.P. (www.sterling-group.com) 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 45 platform companies and numerous add-on acquisitions for a total transaction value of over $10.0 billion. Currently, Sterling has over $1.1 billion of assets under management. Current portfolio companies include CST Industries, Universal Fiber Systems, Express, B&G Crane, Saxco International, Liqui-Box, Dexter Axle, Safe Fleet, Specified Air Solutions and Aquatic.

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



Acquisition

January 27, 2015

The Sterling Group Builds a Leading HVAC Manufacturer Under the Name Specified Air Solutions

The Sterling Group, a middle market private equity firm based in Houston, Texas, today announced Specified Air Solutions as the new name for its portfolio of HVAC companies. The company previously operated under the name Roberts-Gordon LLC and was acquired by Sterling in July 2014.

Specified Air Solutions is an international manufacturer of semi-custom commercial and industrial HVAC equipment, as well as industrial process and finishing equipment. The Specified Air portfolio includes many well known brands such as Addison, Rapid Engineering, Weather-Rite, Bananza, Phoenix Air Systems, Combat, and Roberts Gordon. Each of these product lines will retain their respective names serving a wide range of market applications including manufacturing facilities, warehouses, educational facilities, commercial buildings, health care facilities, food processing plants, and many more. The products are produced in five manufacturing facilities in the United States and the United Kingdom.

“Specified Air Solutions is a group of leading manufacturers in a number of HVAC applications,” said John Hawkins, Partner at The Sterling Group. “The company will focus on the significant organic growth opportunities that exist and will be the platform for acquisitions into complementary HVAC markets.”

President and CEO of Specified Air Solutions, Charley Brown said, “We have an excellent portfolio of product lines with valuable names in their respective markets, and we plan to meaningfully expand on the company’s prior success. The Specified Air Solutions name more clearly represents both our current identity and future aspirations in the market for semi-custom HVAC solutions.”

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 45 platform companies and numerous add-on acquisitions for a total transaction value of over $10.0 billion. Currently, Sterling has over $1.1 billion of committed capital under management through two funds. Current portfolio companies include CST Industries, Universal Fiber Systems, Express, B&G Crane, Saxco International, Liqui-Box, Dexter Axle, Safe Fleet, Specified Air Solutions and Aquatic.

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

 



Acquisition

Houston, TX September 19, 2014

Safe Fleet, A Portfolio Company of The Sterling Group, Completes the Acquisition of Seon Design Inc.

The Sterling Group, a private equity firm based in Houston, Texas, today announced that its portfolio company, Safe Fleet Holdings LLC, has completed the acquisition of Seon Design Inc. Safe Fleet is a market leader in providing safety solutions for fleet vehicles. The company designs and manufactures safety- and productivity-oriented components for the emergency vehicle, truck and trailer, utility vehicle, school bus, and transit bus end markets. Seon is Safe Fleet’s second acquisition in the last nine months and further broadens Safe Fleet’s extensive product offering, in line with its on-going growth strategy.

Seon is the leading manufacturer of video surveillance and fleet management solutions for school and transit buses. “Seon has developed and built an industry-leading software and hardware platform for mobile surveillance and fleet asset tracking and management,” said John R. Knox, Safe Fleet President and CEO. “The Seon products and capabilities are a great addition to Safe Fleet’s existing portfolio and will help us further serve our fleet vehicle customers.”

Safe Fleet was formed in 2013 through the simultaneous acquisitions of ROM Corporation and Specialty Manufacturing Inc. “Safe Fleet is committed to increasing its ability to provide critical safety products to its loyal customer base,” said Gary Rosenthal, a Partner at The Sterling Group. Safe Fleet will continue to pursue new acquisition opportunities to expand the products and solutions it offers its fleet vehicle customers.

About Safe Fleet

Headquartered in Belton, MO, Safe Fleet is a leading provider of safety solutions for fleet vehicles. Safe Fleet owns a portfolio of brands that help its customers improve the safety and efficiency of their fleets, operators, passengers and pedestrians. These fleets include: emergency vehicles, refrigerated trucks and trailers, utility vehicles, and bus and rail cars. The Safe Fleet family of brands includes ROM, Bustin, Prime Design, FRC, Specialty Manufacturing (SMI), Pretoria, Transpec, FoamPro, and now Seon. For more information about Safe Fleet and its family of brands, please visit www.safefleetsolutions.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 $500 million.  Sterling has sponsored the buyout of 45 platform companies and numerous add-on acquisitions for a total transaction value of over $10.0 billion.  Currently, Sterling has over $1.0 billion of committed capital under management through three funds. Current portfolio companies include CST Industries, Universal Fiber Systems, Express, B&G Crane, Saxco International, Liqui-Box, Dexter Axle, Safe Fleet, Roberts Gordon and Aquatic.

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

 



Acquisition

Houston, TX September 02, 2014

The Sterling Group Completes the Acquisition of Aquatic US Holdings Corp.

The Sterling Group, a middle market private equity firm, today announced that its affiliated investment fund has completed the acquisition of Aquatic US Holdings Corp. Aquatic is the third business Sterling has carved-out of the former Tomkins group in a three-year period.

Headquartered in Anaheim, California, Aquatic is a manufacturer of bathtubs and showers primarily used in residential single family and multi-family housing markets. Aquatic produces over 1,700 baths and showers per day from six manufacturing facilities across the United States. The company holds an estimated 20% share of the United States bathware market.

“Sterling’s strategic, operational and financial support of its businesses is a welcome addition to all of us here at Aquatic,” said Stuart Leigh, CEO of Aquatic. “We are thrilled to partner with Sterling as we embark on our next phase of growth.”

During its thirty-two year history, Sterling has sponsored the carve-out of twenty-two businesses from larger corporate parents, including multiple acquisitions from DuPont, British Petroleum and Tomkins. “Aquatic is an industry leader poised to outperform as a stand-alone enterprise with supportive partners,” said Kevin Garland, a Partner at The Sterling Group. “We look forward to achieving new levels of profitability and creating value for all shareholders.”

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 45 platform companies and numerous add-on acquisitions for a total transaction value of over $10.0 billion. Currently, Sterling has over $1.0 billion of assets under management through two active funds. Current portfolio companies include CST Industries, Universal Fiber Systems, Express, B&G Crane, Saxco International, Liqui-Box, Dexter Axle, Safe Fleet and Roberts-Gordon.

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

 



Acquisition

Houston, TX August 07, 2014

Saxco International, a Portfolio Company of The Sterling Group, Acquires Square Peg Packaging and Printing, LLC

The Sterling Group, a middle market private equity firm based in Houston, Texas, announced that its portfolio company, Saxco International has completed the acquisition of Square Peg Packaging and Printing, LLC.

Headquartered in Horsham, Pennsylvania, Saxco is the market leader in the distribution of rigid packaging for the liquor, wine and craft beer industries. Saxco’s partnerships with North American manufacturers and unparalleled sourcing capabilities result in a wide array of customized glass, plastic and closure packaging solutions for their customers. Sterling acquired Saxco in 2011 from Herb and Keith Sachs, members of the founding family. Square Peg is the second add-on acquisition for Saxco in the past year.”

Square Peg designs and supplies a variety of customized packaging and commercial printing materials, as well as providing assembly, kitting, contract packaging, design and prototyping services. Square Peg delivers innovative marketing ideas and specializes in improving brand differentiation and consistency for its clients. Square Peg’s printing, labeling and design offerings will be a meaningful addition to Saxco’s current service offerings to its customers.

“Square Peg’s capabilities will strengthen our strategy for custom packaging and services for the beer and beverage industry,” said Matthew Malenfant, CEO of Saxco. “We look forward to integrating that expertise with the Saxco scale and services as we become increasingly important to our customers’ branding and identity.”

John Hawkins, Partner at The Sterling Group said, “The Square Peg addition will be valuable as Saxco continues to enhance its products and services that meet our customers’ unique packaging needs. Saxco is well positioned to enter a new period of expansion and growth.”

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 44 platform companies and numerous add-on acquisitions for a total transaction value of over $10.0 billion. Currently, Sterling has $1.0 billion of assets under management through two active funds. Current portfolio companies include CST Industries, Universal Fiber Systems, Express, B&G Crane, Saxco International, Liqui-Box, Dexter Axle, Safe Fleet and Roberts-Gordon.

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

 



Acquisition

Houston, TX July 02, 2014

The Sterling Group Completes the Acquisition of Roberts-Gordon LLC

The Sterling Group, a middle market private equity firm based in Houston, Texas, announced that its affiliated investment fund, Sterling Group Partners III, L.P., completed the acquisition of Roberts-Gordon LLC (“Roberts-Gordon”) on July 1, 2014.

Headquartered in Buffalo, New York, Roberts-Gordon designs and manufactures specialty commercial and industrial HVAC equipment as well as industrial process and finishing equipment. The company’s diverse product offering is utilized in a range of niche market applications, primarily in manufacturing facilities, warehouses, vehicle service shops, educational facilities, commercial offices, energy terminals, chicken houses and retail establishments. Roberts-Gordon operates six manufacturing facilities in the United States and the United Kingdom.

“Roberts-Gordon is a leading manufacturer in a number of niche HVAC applications,” said John Hawkins, Partner at The Sterling Group. “Sterling’s partnership with the company will focus on the significant organic growth opportunities that exist and will support acquisitions into complementary HVAC markets.”

The Sterling Group has a long history of helping industrial companies reach new levels of financial performance.

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 44 platform companies and numerous add-on acquisitions for a total transaction value of over $10.0 billion. Currently, Sterling has almost $1.0 billion of committed capital under management through two active funds. Current portfolio companies include CST Industries, Universal Fiber Systems, Express, B&G Crane, Saxco International, Liqui-Box, Dexter Axle and Safe Fleet.

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



Acquisition

Houston, TX December 12, 2013

Safe Fleet, a Portfolio Company of The Sterling Group, Completes the Acquisition of FoamPro from Pentair

The Sterling Group, a middle market private equity firm based in Houston, Texas, today announced that its portfolio company, Safe Fleet, has completed the acquisition of FoamPro from Pentair, Ltd. (NYSE: PNR). Sterling formed Safe Fleet in September 2013 through the acquisitions and subsequent combination of ROM Corporation and Specialty Manufacturing, Inc. FoamPro is the first add-on acquisition for Safe Fleet.

Safe Fleet is the leading provider of safety solutions for fleet vehicles. Safe Fleet manufactures products that enhance the safety and productivity of fleet vehicles, including emergency vehicles, refrigerated trucks and trailers, utility vehicles, and school and transit buses. FoamPro designs and manufactures foam pumping systems for fire trucks. FoamPro’s addition complements Safe Fleet’s existing foam product line (sold under the FRC brand) and gives the company a leading position in this end market. Safe Fleet’s foam systems improve the safety, accuracy and cost effectiveness of foam-delivery and are increasingly standard systems on fire trucks.

“Sterling and Safe Fleet management are committed to serving our OEM customers and end users with best in class safety related products,” said Gary Rosenthal, Partner at The Sterling Group. “The addition of the FoamPro line of products to our existing FRC product line deepens our offering and expands our ability to help our customers improve the safety and efficiency of their fleet vehicles.”

Sterling drew upon its extensive experience executing over twenty corporate carve-outs to complete the acquisition from Pentair. Safe Fleet will continue to pursue acquisitions that expand its offering of safety products to both new and existing fleet customers.

About Safe Fleet

Headquartered in Belton, Missouri, Safe Fleet is the leading provider of safety solutions for fleet vehicles. Safe Fleet manufactures products that enhance the safety and productivity of fleet vehicles, including emergency vehicles, refrigerated trucks and trailers, utility vehicles, and school and transit buses. Safe Fleet is a market leader in the majority of its end markets, helping its customers improve the safety and efficiency of their fleets, their operators, passengers and pedestrians. The Safe Fleet family of brands includes ROM, Bustin, Prime Design, FRC, Specialty Manufacturing (SMI), SpecFlor, Pretoria, Transpec and FoamPro.

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 43 platform companies and numerous add-on acquisitions for a total transaction value of over $10.0 billion.  Currently, Sterling has almost $1.0 billion of committed capital under management through three funds.  Current portfolio companies include CST Industries, Universal Fiber Systems, Express, B&G Crane, Saxco International, Liqui-Box, Dexter Axle and Safe Fleet.

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



Acquisition

Houston, TX November 04, 2013

Saxco International, LLC, A Portfolio Company of The Sterling Group, Acquires Synergy Glass & Packaging

Saxco International, LLC, the market leader in the distribution of rigid packaging for the liquor, wine and craft beer industry has acquired Synergy Glass & Packaging; it was announced by Matthew Malenfant, chief executive officer of Saxco International. Based in Benicia, California, Synergy and its former affiliates has been distributing glass bottles and packaging solutions to the wine and food industries since 2003.

Saxco’s partnerships with North American glass, plastic and closure manufacturers, as well as its unparalleled global sourcing capabilities, allow it to deliver highly customized solutions to serve its customers’ packaging needs. “Synergy’s customer focused business model has the same culture of high touch service as that of Saxco and we are excited about Synergy being part of the Saxco team,” said Malenfant. “While continuing Synergy’s tradition of providing quality packaging and service, we look forward to using Saxco’s operating scale to add additional value to Synergy’s customers.”

Financial details of this acquisition remain confidential.

 

About Saxco International, LLC

Saxco International, LLC, “Your choice for premium packaging solutions,” has more than 30 years of industry experience, providing a broad range of packaging products and services to the liquor, wine, beer and food industries. In addition to supplying packaging enhancement products, the company’s services include expert consultation from design to development. Saxco is headquartered in suburban Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, with offices in Mountainside, New Jersey; Cincinnati, Ohio; Louisville, Kentucky; Oakland, Fairfield and Napa, California; Vancouver, WA; Tampa, Florida; Hook Hampshire, England and Qingdao, China. Additional details at 215-443-8100, fax 215-443-8370 or the web at www.saxco.com.

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

 



Sales

Houston, TX October 11, 2013

The Sterling Group Completes the Sale of Stackpole International to Crestview Partners

The Sterling Group, a middle market private equity firm based in Houston, Texas, today announced that it has completed the sale of its portfolio company, Stackpole International to funds managed by Crestview Partners. Sterling had acquired Stackpole through a corporate carve-out from Tomkins in August 2011. Stackpole was an investment in Sterling’s third fund, an $820 million fund raised in 2010. The sale returns a significant portion of all called capital and fees to Fund III. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Headquartered in Ancaster, Ontario, Stackpole is a manufacturer and supplier of highly engineered oil-pumps and powdered metal components to automotive original equipment manufacturers. EBITDA has increased by more than 80% over the last two years, significantly outpacing domestic automobile production growth of about 25%.

“Sterling’s focus on corporate carve-outs and our operationally focused approach to investing in the middle market continue to generate strong returns for our partners, as evidenced by the successful outcome with Stackpole,” said Kent Wallace, Partner at The Sterling Group. “We were pleased to partner with an outstanding management team to guide the company through this period of very exciting growth, offering superior products and execution to an expanded list of customers globally.”

Peter Ballantyne, CEO of Stackpole added, “Sterling’s deep experience transitioning businesses to stand-alone entities and their hands-on approach to partnership helped create great value at the company. Stackpole is well positioned for continued growth based on the progress we’ve made together, and we look forward to the next chapter of growth under our new ownership.”

During its 31 year history, Sterling has completed 22 corporate carve-outs, relying on its operating expertise and its experience executing complicated transactions to fundamentally improve North American based industrial businesses. The Sterling Group and its partner, Current Capital, were advised on the sale by Barclays 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 43 platform companies and numerous add-on acquisitions for a total transaction value of approximately $10.1 billion. Currently, Sterling has about $1.0 billion of committed capital under management through three funds. Current portfolio companies include CST Industries, Universal Fiber Systems, Express, B&G Crane, Saxco International, Liqui-Box, Dexter Axle and ROM-SMI (Safe Fleet).

 

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

 



Acquisition

Houston, TX September 30, 2013

The Sterling Group Completes the Acquisitions of ROM Corporation and Specialty Manufacturing, Inc.

The Sterling Group, a middle market private equity firm based in Houston, Texas, today announced that its affiliated investment fund, Sterling Group Partners III, L.P., has completed the acquisition of ROM Corporation (“ROM”) and Specialty Manufacturing, Inc. (“SMI”), combining the businesses through its holding company, Safe Fleet Acquisition Corp. The investment is Sterling’s fifth investment in its third fund, an $820 million fund raised in 2010. The companies were formerly owned but independently operated and financed by Century Park Capital Partners.

Headquartered in Belton, Missouri, the newly combined company provides safety-and productivity-oriented components to the emergency vehicle, truck and trailer, utility vehicle, school bus, and transit bus end markets. Together, ROM and SMI maintain a leading market position across the majority of its niche product lines. The company’s value-added products focus on enhancing worker safety and productivity and are characterized by their durability, reliability, and versatility in usage and application.

“ROM and SMI offer a powerful combination of two market leading businesses that have consistently and reliably provided safety related equipment to fleets in their respective industries for a collective 88 years,” said Gary Rosenthal, Partner at The Sterling Group. “The combination of these two businesses allows us to draw on the strengths of the two legacy organizations. Sterling will work closely with management to further improve operations and take advantage of numerous strategic and acquisition related opportunities.”

“We are pleased to partner with Sterling to bring these two companies together, deepen our product offerings, and expand our ability to serve our customers,” said Joe Uebbing, former CEO of SMI and newly appointed CEO of Safe Fleet. Jeff Hupke, former CEO of ROM and President of Safe Fleet added, “Sterling has a history of successfully integrating numerous middle market acquisitions over many years, and we look forward growing the combined business together.”

The acquisition was financed with equity from Sterling Group Partners III, L.P. First lien financing was arranged by BNP Paribas, and second lien debt was provided by Oaktree Capital Mezzanine.

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 43 platform companies and numerous add-on acquisitions for a total transaction value of approximately $10.1 billion. Currently, Sterling has $1.2 billion of committed capital under management through three funds. Current portfolio companies include CST Industries, Universal Fiber Systems, Express, B&G Crane, Saxco International, Stackpole International, Liqui-Box, Dexter Axle and ROM-SMI (Safe Fleet).

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