News

News

Houston, TX July 27, 2015

The Sterling Group Hits $1.25 Billion Hard Cap For Its Fourth Private Equity Fund

The Sterling Group, a middle market private equity firm based in Houston, Texas, announced it has closed on $1.25 billion in investor commitments for its most recent fund, Sterling Group Partners IV (“Fund IV”). Fund IV was oversubscribed and reached its hard cap in three months. Consistent with Sterling’s successful 33-year history, Fund IV primarily will target corporate carve-outs and family businesses in the industrial sector of the middle market.

The substantial majority of Fund IV’s capital was committed by returning investors. Sterling welcomes a select number of new investors. “The Sterling team is pleased by the significant demand for Fund IV and the strength of our partnership with our investors,” said Kevin Garland, a Partner with The Sterling Group, “Sterling’s hands-on, operational approach to transforming industrial businesses has generated strong returns throughout a variety of market cycles. We intend to continue to execute and improve upon this strategy in Fund IV to produce top tier results for our investors.”

Sterling targets manufacturing, distribution and industrial service businesses generally with $100 million to $500 million in total enterprise value. The firm emphasizes its strong operational approach in partnership with management teams to grow and improve industrial businesses. Sterling’s partner group of Gary Rosenthal, John Hawkins, Kevin Garland, Greg Elliott, Kent Wallace and Brian Henry collectively has 90 years working at Sterling.

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP served as legal counsel. Sterling did not utilize a placement agent.

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 46 platform companies and numerous add-on acquisitions for a total transaction value in excess of $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, 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.

 



Acquisition

Houston, TX July 01, 2015

Safe Fleet, A Portfolio Company of The Sterling Group, Acquires Hadley’s Transit Mirror Product Line

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 the transit mirror product line for buses, shuttles and coaches from Hadley. This marks Safe Fleet’s fifth acquisition in the last eighteen months, as well as the second corporate carve-out.

Based in Elkhart, Indiana, Hadley’s transit mirrors business is the North American market leader for transit bus mirrors. The combination of Hadley’s transit mirror business with Safe Fleet’s existing transit offerings establishes Safe Fleet as the leading supplier of specialty safety components for transit buses. The acquisition further broadens Safe Fleet’s extensive, safety-oriented product offering, in line with its on-going growth strategy.

We are delighted to welcome the Hadley transit mirrors business into the Safe Fleet family. This acquisition supports our vision to build the leading global provider of safety solutions for fleet vehicles,” said John R. Knox, President & CEO of Safe Fleet.   “Additionally, Safe Fleet is well positioned to offer our full product line of mirrors, hatches, lighting, interiors and video to the school bus, motor coach, RV, shuttle bus, emergency and military vehicle markets.”

“Safe Fleet will continue to pursue strategic growth across the fleet vehicle market, expanding our product offering both organically and through acquisition,” said Brian Henry, a Partner at The Sterling Group. “The company has nearly doubled in size during its eighteen month partnership with Sterling, and with that has come the expanded ability to serve our important fleet customers.”

Sterling utilized its extensive experience executing over 22 corporate carve-outs to assist Safe Fleets’ acquisition of the Hadley transit mirrors product line.

About Safe Fleet

Headquartered in Belton, MO, Safe Fleet owns a portfolio of brands that provide increased functionality 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 1,000 employees, the Safe Fleet family of brands operates almost 600,000 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.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 $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.



Sales

Houston, TX 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.



Acquisition

Houston, TX May 01, 2015

The Sterling Group Completes the Acquisition of ProcessBarron

The Sterling Group, a private equity firm based in Houston, Texas, announced that it has completed the acquisition of Process Equipment, Inc. (“ProcessBarron”).  Sterling acquired the business from the founding family and management team who are reinvesting alongside Sterling in the new transaction.

Headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama, ProcessBarron is a leading provider of custom turn-key air and material handling solutions to a variety of industries including utility providers and pulp, paperboard, metals and cement producers. The company designs, engineers, fabricates, installs, maintains and repairs equipment critical in powering industrial plants in a variety of end markets.

“Over the past 30 years, ProcessBarron has provided best in class service and equipment to a variety of process industries,” said Ken Nolen, President of ProcessBarron. “The entire ProcessBarron team looks forward to partnering with Sterling to further expand the business.”

Sterling has a long history of partnering with family- and entrepreneur- owned businesses to achieve new levels of financial performance. “ProcessBarron has a unique value proposition in its niche markets,” said Greg Elliott, Partner at The Sterling Group.  “We look forward to working with the ProcessBarron team to continue to broaden their product offerings and geographical reach to provide value to their customers.”

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 $1.2 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, Specified Air Solutions and American Bath Group.

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



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.