News

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.



Sales

Houston, TX November 01, 2012

The Sterling Group Completes the Sale of Velcon Filters, LLC to Parker Hannifin Corporation

The Sterling Group, a middle market private equity firm based in Houston, Texas, today announced that they have finalized the sale of their portfolio company, Velcon Filters, LLC to Parker Hannifin Corporation (NYSE: PH). Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Velcon is a niche manufacturer of filtration systems, including vessels and replacement cartridges, which meet specific requirements for fluid filtration processes in a variety of domestic and international end-markets.

When Sterling acquired Velcon in 2009 from the founding family, the business was the market leader in the aviation filtration market with a stable base of recurring revenue. Sterling and Velcon together have made three strategic acquisitions over the past three years, expanding Velcon’s end markets beyond aviation into both upstream and downstream oil and gas filtration, as well as other process applications, and diversifying Velcon’s geographical footprint into Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Africa. “Sterling partnered with the Taylor family to capitalize on Velcon’s market leading position in jet fuel filtration, and together we have built a global and diversified industrial fluid filtration company,” said Greg Elliott, Partner at The Sterling Group. Under Sterling’s ownership, Velcon has more than doubled in size.

The combination with Parker’s filtration business is expected to further solidify Velcon’s position as the highest standard in the filtration industry. “This acquisition brings us a leadership position in aviation and industrial fuel filtration, particularly for aviation fuel which requires specialist expertise and certifications,” said Peter Popoff, President of the Filtration Group at Parker. “We are excited about the opportunities to combine our strengths and extend our solutions to more customers, markets and geographies.”

During its 30 year history, The Sterling Group has partnered with 13 different family businesses, bringing its operating expertise and a commitment to partnering with management to improve North American based industrial businesses. The Sterling Group was advised by Robert W. Baird & 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 42 platform companies and numerous add-on acquisitions for a total transaction value of approximately $9.9 billion. Currently, Sterling has $1.1 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 and Dexter Axle.

 

About Parker Hannifin Corporation

With annual sales exceeding $13 billion in fiscal year 2012, Parker Hannifin is the world’s leading diversified manufacturer of motion and control technologies and systems, providing precision-engineered solutions for a wide variety of mobile, industrial and aerospace markets. The company employs approximately 60,000 people in 48 countries around the world. Parker has increased its annual dividends paid to shareholders for 56 consecutive fiscal years, among the top five longest-running dividend-increase records in the S&P 500 index. For more information, visit the company’s web site at www.parker.com or its investor information web site at www.phstock.com.

 

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



Acquisition

Houston, TX November 01, 2012

The Sterling Group Completes the Acquisition of Dexter Axle from Tomkins Industries, 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 the Dexter Axle business from Tomkins Industries, Inc., a subsidiary of Pinafore Holdings B.V. The investment is Sterling’s fourth investment in its third fund, an $820 million fund raised in 2010. Dexter is the second business Sterling has acquired from Tomkins in the last fourteen months.

Dexter is a leading designer and manufacturer of trailer axle, brake, and suspension assemblies and related replacement parts and components for use primarily in the industrial and utility trailer and RV markets in North America. “For over 50 years, Dexter has provided customers with the highest quality axles in the industry,” said Adam Dexter, CEO of Dexter. “The entire team is thrilled by Sterling’s support of our business, our culture, and our commitment to delivering the best customer service and product quality in the trailer running gear market.”

During its thirty year history, Sterling has sponsored the carve-out of 22 businesses from larger corporate parents, including multiple acquisitions from DuPont, British Petroleum and Tomkins. “We are excited about the opportunity to draw on our deep experience with corporate carve-outs to transition Dexter to a stand-alone business,” said Kevin Garland, Partner at The Sterling Group. “We look forward to partnering closely with management to achieve new levels of profitability and create value for all shareholders.”

The acquisition was financed with equity from Sterling Group Partners III, L.P. and several other co-investors. Senior debt financing was arranged by BNP Paribas and mezzanine debt was provided by Hancock Capital Management and Fifth Street Capital.

 

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 42 platform companies and numerous add-on acquisitions for a total transaction value of approximately $9.9 billion. Currently, Sterling has $1.1 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 and Dexter Axle.

 

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



Sales

Houston, TX October 05, 2012

The Sterling Group to Sell Velcon Filters, LLC to Parker Hannifin Corporation

The Sterling Group, a middle market private equity firm based in Houston, Texas, today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to sell its portfolio company, Velcon Filters, LLC to Parker Hannifin Corporation (NYSE: PH). Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Velcon is a niche manufacturer of filtration systems, including vessels and replacement cartridges, which meet specific requirements for fluid filtration processes in a variety of domestic and international end-markets. When Sterling acquired the business from the founding family in 2009, the company was the domestic leader in the aviation fuel filtration industry. Today, Velcon has a global platform servicing the aviation, industrial and oil and gas filtration markets in over 150 countries. Sterling identified Velcon as a buy-and-build platform and completed three strategic acquisitions in three years. The business more than doubled in size during Sterling’s ownership.

The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2012 and is subject to regulatory approval. The Sterling Group was advised by Robert W. Baird & 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 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 CST Industries, Universal Fiber Systems, Velcon Filters, Express, B&G Crane, Saxco International, Stackpole International and Liqui-Box.

About Parker Hannifin Corporation

With annual sales exceeding $13 billion in fiscal year 2012, Parker Hannifin is the world’s leading diversified manufacturer of motion and control technologies and systems, providing precision-engineered solutions for a wide variety of mobile, industrial and aerospace markets. The company employs approximately 60,000 people in 48 countries around the world. Parker has increased its annual dividends paid to shareholders for 56 consecutive fiscal years, among the top five longest-running dividend-increase records in the S&P 500 index. For more information, visit the company’s web site at www.parker.com or its investor information web site at www.phstock.com.

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



Acquisition

Houston, TX September 27, 2012

The Sterling Group to Acquire Dexter Axle from Tomkins Industries 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., entered into a definitive purchase agreement to acquire all of the equity interests that comprise the Dexter Axle business from Tomkins Industries, Inc., a subsidiary of Pinafore Holdings B.V.

The Dexter Axle business manufactures trailer axle, brake and suspension assemblies and related replacement parts and components. The closing of the transaction is subject to customary conditions and is expected to occur in the last quarter of 2012.

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 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 CST Industries, Universal Fiber Systems, Velcon Filters, Express, B&G Crane, Saxco International, Stackpole International and Liqui-Box. Upon closing this transaction, Sterling will have completed 22 corporate carve-outs in its 30 year history.

 

 

 



Acquisition

Houston, TX August 07, 2012

Stackpole International, a Portfolio Company of The Sterling Group, Completes Refinancing

The Sterling Group announced today that its portfolio company, Stackpole International (“Stackpole”) completed the refinancing of its outstanding debt on August 2, 2012.  Stackpole is a manufacturer and sole source supplier of highly-engineered oil pumps and powdered metal components to automotive original equipment manufacturers.  Sterling acquired Stackpole on August 2, 2011 from Gates Canada, a subsidiary of Tomkins.

 Stackpole raised $165 million of senior financing from a syndicate of banks, arranged by RBC and CIBC.  The proceeds of the refinancing were used to repay existing outstanding debt, including eliminating all mezzanine debt from the original transaction. The refinancing will result in a reduction of Stackpole’s annual debt interest costs by over 50%.

 Under Sterling’s ownership, Stackpole has experienced considerable growth and has expanded both its customer base and geographic end markets. This refinancing provides additional financial flexibility for Stackpole to continue to implement its growth strategy.

About Stackpole International

 Headquartered in Ancaster, Ontario, Stackpole is a market leader in both oil pumps and powdered metals and has established a long-standing track record with fifty-five years of manufacturing expertise. Stackpole’s products are specified into powertrain (engine and transmission) platforms that have an average lifecycle of ten to fifteen years. These platforms underpin approximately 400+ vehicle nameplates. Stackpole currently has twelve manufacturing facilities and technical centers in North America, Europe, China and Korea.

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 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, Universal Fiber Systems, Velcon Filters, Express, B&G Crane, Saxco International, Stackpole International and Liqui-Box.



Sales

Houston, TX May 31, 2012

The Sterling Group Completes the Sale of Roofing Supply Group, LLC

The Sterling Group, a middle market private equity firm based in Houston, Texas, today announced that they have finalized the sale of Roofing Supply Group, LLC (“RSG”) to funds managed by Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, LLC (“CD&R”).  RSG is the fourth largest distributor of roofing supplies and related materials in the United States, with 59 locations in 24 states.  Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

RSG has grown significantly in recent years, driven by strategic and operational initiatives undertaken by The Sterling Group in partnership with management. Since Sterling acquired RSG from its founders in 2006, EBITDA increased by more than 50% despite a record decline in housing starts that has yet to rebound.

“The investment in RSG exemplifies Sterling’s investment philosophy and operational approach,” said Kevin Garland, a Partner at The Sterling Group. “For thirty years, Sterling has focused on partnering with management to drive strategic initiatives and grow businesses for all shareholders, regardless of market cycles. We have worked closely with management to make dramatic improvements to RSG’s procurement, sales, pricing and to expand the company’s network into strategic markets.  The result has been what we believe to be outstanding financial performance in the face of difficult end market conditions.”

Mike Farrell, CEO of RSG, said, “RSG has always had an excellent culture and best in class customer service efforts, but it was the resources and partnership with the Sterling team that enabled us to achieve new levels of success with the business.  We look forward to continued growth under our new ownership.”

RSG was a portfolio company of Sterling Group Partners II, a fund controlled by The Sterling Group, L.P.

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. Current portfolio companies include North American Energy Partners, CST Industries, Universal Fiber Systems, Velcon Filters, Express, B&G Crane Service, Saxco International, Stackpole International and Liqui-Box.

 About Roofing Supply Group

Founded in 1981 and based in Dallas, TX, Roofing Supply Group is one of the largest wholesale distributors of roofing supplies and related materials in the United States.  Through its network of 59 branches in 24 states, RSG provides one-step distribution services from roofing product manufacturers to roofing contractors and homebuilders.  Each branch carries a complete line of roofing products for residential and commercial roofing, including composition asphalt shingles, underlayment, and associated ancillary products.  For more information, please visit http://www.roofingsupplygroup.com.

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



Acquisition

Colorado Springs, CO May 01, 2012

Velcon Filters, LLC, a Portfolio Company of The Sterling Group, Completes Acquisition of Warner Lewis GmbH

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.

Franny Jones
713.341.5756
fjones@sterling-group.com
www.sterling-group.com



Acquisition

Houston, TX December 30, 2011

The Sterling Group Acquires Liqui-Box from Dupont

The Sterling Group (“Sterling”), a Houston based private equity investment firm, today announced that its affiliated investment fund, Sterling Group Partners III, L.P., has completed the acquisition of the Liqui-Box Corporation (“Liqui-Box”) from DuPont. The acquisition is Sterling’s third investment in its third fund, an $820 million fund raised in 2010. Liqui-Box is the twenty-first corporate carve-out in Sterling’s thirty year history and the fourth business Sterling has acquired from DuPont.

Headquartered in Worthington, Ohio, Liqui-Box is a leading supplier of bag-in-box flexible packaging to the global dairy, beverage and bulk food markets. Bag-in-box packaging is primarily used in the foodservice industry to package dairy mix for milkshakes and coffee drinks, fountain beverage syrup and pumpable liquid foods such as food concentrates and sauces. Liqui-Box also produces pouches and rigid plastic water bottles. The company’s product offering includes consumables, such as fitmented bags and pouch films, as well as filling machines.

“The entire Liqui-Box team is energized to partner with Sterling who has a proven track record of successfully transitioning unique, specialty businesses like ours to more nimble, stand alone companies and equipping them for future growth. We look forward to executing on a number of initiatives to expand our business and enhance our delivery of top quality products to our customers,” said Roszann Graham, CEO of Liqui-Box.

Greg Elliott, a Partner of Sterling noted, “Roszann and her team have done an exceptional job positioning Liqui-Box as a leading provider of bag-in-box packaging solutions. Over the past several years, Liqui-Box has streamlined its operations to focus on its core products. Our focus now is to expand our global footprint, invest in technology and expand our offering of solutions to our customers.”

The acquisition was financed with equity from Sterling Group Partners III, L.P. Senior debt financing was provided by BNP Paribas and BMO, and mezzanine debt was provided by Oaktree Capital Management.

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 $1.3 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, Saxco International and Stackpole International. The Sterling Group has a proven track record with corporate carve-outs, as over half of its transactions over the last thirty years have been the purchases of businesses from large corporations.

For additional information, please contact:
The Sterling Group, L.P.
Franny Jones
(713) 341-5756
fjones@sterling-group.com



Acquisition

Dallas, TX December 30, 2011

Roofing Supply Group, LLC Acquires Intermountain Supply, Inc.

Roofing Supply Group, LLC (“RSG”), a national leader in the wholesale distribution of roofing supplies and related materials, today announced that it has acquired Intermountain Supply, Inc. (“IMS”). RSG is a portfolio company of The Sterling Group, L.P.

With locations in Seattle and Spokane, Washington, IMS is a leading distributor of residential and commercial roofing supplies and other building materials in the region. “Founded in 1995, Intermountain Supply has established itself as the leading roofing supply distributor in the state of Washington and throughout the Northwestern US and has an excellent reputation,” said Mike Farrell, President and CEO of RSG. “We had identified Washington as an attractive market for RSG’s entry in 2011, and we are thrilled to partner with the IMS team to extend our footprint into this new geographic region.”

RSG operates a strategic distribution network of 58 branches across 23 states, focused exclusively on residential and commercial roofing products and accessories. The IMS acquisition further strengthens RSG’s geographic position and ability to serve its customer base.

About Roofing Supply Group
Roofing Supply Group, headquartered in Dallas, Texas, is one of the largest wholesale distributors of roofing supplies and related materials in the United States. Through its network of 58 branches in 23 states, RSG provides one-step distribution services from roofing product manufacturers to roofing contractors and homebuilders. Each branch carries a complete line of roofing products for residential and commercial roofing, including composition asphalt shingles, underlayment, and associated ancillary products.

For additional information, please contact:
Roofing Supply Group, LLC
Paul Drobnitch
(214) 956-5184
pdrobnitch@rsgroof.com

For additional information, please contact:
The Sterling Group, L.P.
Franny Jones
(713) 341-5756
fjones@sterling-group.com