News

Acquisition

Houston, TX September 29, 2020

Frontline Road Safety, A Portfolio Company of The Sterling Group, Completes the Acquisition of Griffin Pavement Striping

Frontline Road Safety (“Frontline”), a portfolio company of The Sterling Group, today announced the acquisition of Griffin Pavement Striping (“Griffin”).  Through its operating companies, Frontline provides pavement marking services to a variety of end markets and customers.

Based in Columbus, Ohio, Griffin is a leading provider of road, highway and airport line striping. “I am thrilled to partner with Sterling with the vision to build a leading national platform for road safety services,” said Joe Griffin. “Frontline’s current operating companies are led by among the strongest and most reputable teams in our industry, and the opportunity to work alongside them is the right next step for Griffin.”  Mr. Griffin will continue to lead Griffin in his role as President.

“Griffin has been an established, leading service provider for its Ohio customers for the last forty years, and has a tremendous reputation as a top-tier operator.  We look forward to further expanding the Frontline family of companies in partnership with Griffin,” said Brad Staller, Partner at The Sterling Group.

Over the last several years, Sterling has developed an investment thesis in the road safety and infrastructure maintenance industry. Through organic growth and further acquisitions, Sterling intends to build Frontline into the leading platform for road safety solutions providers with best-in-class local execution capabilities. Sterling has a long history of partnering with entrepreneurs and management teams to support the growth of their businesses.

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 further information, please visit www.sterling-group.com.

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



Acquisition

Memphis, TN September 16, 2020

Highline Aftermarket, a Portfolio Company of The Sterling Group, Announces Acquisition of Plews Retail

Highline Aftermarket, a portfolio company of The Sterling Group, announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire the assets of Plews & Edelmann’s Retail segment (“Plews Retail”). Highline is a leading distributor of consumable branded and private label automotive chemicals, lubrication, filtration products, parts, tools and accessories with value-added capabilities in packaging and filling. Plews Retail is a leading designer and distributor of automotive and industrial tools and accessories, in categories like lubrication, air accessories, air hoses, and tire repair.

Well-known brands Amflo, Lubrimatic, and Tru-Flate will join Highline’s industry-leading stable of owned and licensed brands alongside Prime Guard, Service Champ, Rain-X, Shout, Windex, and others. These brands, products, and longstanding Plews Retail employees will join the Highline family and support its continued growth by leveraging trusted owned and licensed brands, 400-plus third-party national brands, extensive private-label capabilities, an unmatched sales team, and a national footprint with 15 distribution centers and eight manufacturing facilities.

“For more than 30 years, the Amflo, Lubrimatic, and Tru-Flate brands have been synonymous with quality across retail, industrial distribution, and the automotive aftermarket,” says Highline CEO Darcy Curran. “We’re excited to add the Plews Retail business to Highline’s growing national platform to better serve our customers together. This combination is a perfect strategic fit for Highline, and I welcome Plews Retail employees and customers to the Highline family.”

Plews Retail is Highline’s fifth acquisition since its formation in 2016. Highline has more than doubled in size during that time and will continue to pursue both organic and acquisition-related growth strategies.

About Highline Aftermarket

Headquartered in Memphis, TN, Highline Aftermarket is a leading national distributor of automotive products, with 15 distribution centers and eight state-of-the-art 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. The #1 manufacturer of windshield wash in the U.S., Highline is part of The Sterling Group family of companies.

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 further information, please visit www.sterling-group.com.

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



Acquisition

Houston, TX August 31, 2020

Frontline Road Safety, A Portfolio Company of The Sterling Group, Completes the Acquisition of Apply-A-Line

Frontline Road Safety (“Frontline”), a portfolio company of The Sterling Group, today announced the acquisition of Apply-A-Line.  Through its operating companies, Frontline provides pavement marking services to a variety of end markets and customers.

Based in Pacific, Washington, Apply-A-Line is a leading provider of road and airport striping solutions primarily in the Northwest United States. “We look forward to partnering with Frontline, and together working to even better serve our customers,” said Mike Liljestrom, President of Apply-A-Line.

“Given its position as a market leader in its core markets, and longstanding track record of operational excellence, Apply-A-Line is a key component of Frontline’s growth strategy as we build a national leader in the road safety industry,” said Brad Staller, Partner at The Sterling Group.

Over the last several years, Sterling has developed an investment thesis in the road safety and infrastructure maintenance industry. Through organic growth and further M&A, Sterling intends to build Frontline into the leading road safety solutions provider with best-in-class local execution capabilities. Sterling has a long history of partnering with entrepreneurs and management teams to support the growth of their businesses.

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP acted as legal advisor to The Sterling Group.

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 further information, please visit www.sterling-group.com.

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



Acquisition

Houston, TX August 03, 2020

The Sterling Group Forms Frontline Road Safety and Completes the Acquisition of Stripe-A-Zone

The Sterling Group, a Houston-based middle market private equity firm, today announced the establishment of Frontline Road Safety (“Frontline”), a new platform formed to build a national leader in the US road safety industry.

In conjunction with the establishment of Frontline, Sterling announced that it has partnered with Stripe-A-Zone as the first member of the Frontline family of companies. Based in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, Stripe-A-Zone has been providing striping and related services on roads, highways, airports and parking lots for nearly 70 years.  For the last 24 years, the company has been owned and operated by the Sargent family, who have built the company in to a pavement marking leader in the state of Texas.

Over the last several years, Sterling has developed an investment thesis in the road safety and infrastructure maintenance industry. Sterling’s study of the industry resulted in a strong relationship with Stripe-A-Zone management and the Sargent family.  Sterling and the Sargent family have formalized a partnership based on a vision to bring together leading companies from distinct geographies and share best practices.

“In teaming with Stripe-A-Zone, we are establishing an outstanding foundation for the Frontline platform, partnering with best-in-class operators as we build a national leader in the road safety industry,” said Brad Staller, Partner at The Sterling Group.

“Joining with Sterling and Frontline was the right next step in the growth of our family’s business given our shared vision for the industry,” said David Sargent, President of Stripe-A-Zone.

Through organic growth and further M&A, Sterling intends to build Frontline into the leading road safety solutions provider with a national presence and best-in-class local execution capabilities. Sterling has a long history of partnering with family and entrepreneur owners and their management teams to support the growth of their businesses.

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP acted as legal advisor to The Sterling Group.

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 further information, please visit www.sterling-group.com.

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



News

Houston, TX June 15, 2020

The Sterling Group, an operationally focused middle market private equity firm, announced the closing of Sterling Group Partners V, LP (together with its parallel fund, “Fund V”). Fund V was oversubscribed and closed at its $2.0 billion hard cap in approximately four months.

The majority of Fund V’s capital was committed by returning investors. Sterling welcomes several new investors that expand the firm’s Limited Partner base in the United States, the Middle East and Asia. “The Sterling team is grateful for the continued support of our long term investing partners, particularly in the midst of an extremely difficult market environment,” said Franny Jones, Managing Director, Investor Relations. “The demand for Fund V is a result of Sterling’s hands-on, operational approach to transforming industrial businesses and our firm-wide commitment to continuous improvement in all aspects of our business.”

Consistent with Sterling’s successful history over four decades, Fund V will primarily target corporate carve-outs and family businesses. The firm emphasizes its operational approach in partnership with management teams to grow and improve its portfolio companies. Sterling’s partner group, including Greg Elliott, John Hawkins, Brian Henry, Scott MacLaren, Gary Rosenthal, Brad Staller, and Kent Wallace, have a collective 100-plus years working at Sterling.

Sterling’s previous fund closed in 2015 with $1.25 billion of investor commitments. Kirkland and Ellis served as legal counsel for Fund V. Sterling did not utilize a placement agent.

About The Sterling Group

Founded in 1982, The Sterling Group targets controlling interests in basic manufacturing, distribution and industrial services companies. Typical enterprise values of its initial platform companies range from $100 million to $750 million. Sterling has sponsored the buyout of 56 platform companies and numerous add-on acquisitions for a total transaction value of over $14 billion. Currently, Sterling has over $4 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.



Acquisition

Houston, TX March 23, 2020

Tangent Technologies, a Portfolio Company of The Sterling Group, Completes The Acquisition of Bedford Technology

The Sterling Group, a Houston-based middle market private equity firm, announced that its portfolio company, Tangent Technologies, completed the acquisition of Bedford Technology at the end of February. Headquartered in Aurora, Illinois, Tangent is a leading manufacturer of high-density polyethylene (“HDPE”) lumber used for outdoor furniture, site amenities, structural applications, and marine decking. Bedford is a leading plastic lumber extruder in North America with excellence in structural and semi-structural product lines, primarily used in marine infrastructure projects, boardwalks, fencing, as well as a broad range of industrial applications.

In recent years, HDPE lumber has become a leading substitute for traditional building materials in outdoor furniture and other applications given its durability and aesthetics. Tangent and Bedford both use post-consumer recycled milk bottles as a primary raw material along with many other post-industrial recycled waste streams. Combining Tangent and Bedford creates a leading alternative materials innovation team and expands both business’ plastic lumber product lines.

“We are excited to partner with Bedford and expand the combined plastic lumber product lines and solutions,” said Guy DeFeo, CEO of Tangent. “With the addition of Bedford, we will build a broader facility footprint across North America as well as build one of the best alternative material innovation organizations for our customers.”

“We are looking forward to increasing sustainable manufacturing capabilities and expanding our innovation capabilities through this partnership with Tangent,” said Jeff Breitzman, CEO and President of Bedford Technology. “The talent and skills that both organizations are bringing to the table will enhance how the combined company serves its customers and will fuel many new growth opportunities” said Brian Larsen, Founder of Bedford Technology and former CEO.

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 56 platform companies and numerous add-on acquisitions for a total transaction value of over $10.0 billion. Currently, Sterling has over $2.0 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.



Acquisition

Southlake, TX March 03, 2020

Artisan Design Group, a Portfolio Company of The Sterling Group, Completes the Acquisition of Value Plus

Artisan Design Group (“ADG”), a portfolio company of The Sterling Group, today announced the acquisition of Value Plus Flooring, LLC (“Value Plus” or the “Company”). ADG is a dealer of flooring products and services, providing design, procurement, installation and quality control of flooring and complementary products for homebuilders and multi-family developers.

Value Plus is a leading provider of installation services for flooring and complementary products, primarily serving multi-family new construction and multi-family relay/aftermarket segments. Headquartered in Eagan, Minnesota, the Company serves the Minneapolis-Saint Paul region and surrounding areas, and has been a trusted partner to its general contractor, multi-family developer and homebuilder customers since 1996.

“Value Plus’ established presence in the industry and strong customer relationships are a welcomed addition to Artisan Design Group and we look forward to partnering with them,” said Larry Barr and Wayne Joseph, Co-CEOs of ADG. “The Company will help ADG build scale and extend our national reach to the Midwest region, allowing us to better serve our multi-family customers.”

Headquartered in Southlake, Texas, ADG operates more than 90 distribution, design and service facilities and coordinates installation through over 1,300 independent contractors across 17 states. ADG was formed in 2016 through the combination of Floors Inc. and Malibu Floors. The acquisition of Value Plus represents ADG’s sixth acquisition over the past thirteen months under Sterling’s ownership. The company has completed fourteen total acquisitions since its founding in 2016. ADG continues to seek local and regional market leaders to add to its family of flooring specialists.

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 56 platform companies and numerous add-on acquisitions for a total transaction value of over $10.0 billion. Currently, Sterling has over $2.0 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.



Team Additions

Houston, TX February 20, 2020

The Sterling Group Announces New Hires and Promotions

The Sterling Group, a Houston-based, operationally focused middle market private equity firm, announces the additions of Erin Arnold as Director, and Chris Ahearn as Commercial Operating Partner, as well as the promotions of Steven Hirsch and John Griffin to Principal.

Erin Arnold, Director, rejoins Sterling’s investment team from Madison Dearborn Partners, where she was most recently a Director with the Basic Industries team. Before rejoining the Sterling team this year, Erin worked at The Sterling Group in 2013 and 2014. She has also worked with Boston Consulting Group, Greenbriar Equity Group, and Credit Suisse.

In the role of Commercial Operating Partner, Chris will work to drive commercial operations effectiveness within Sterling portfolio companies. Chris brings many years of commercial operations experience gained at various firms, including RR Donnelly’s Western Division, FedEx Office, TPG Capital’s Operating Group, and most recently Oakwood Worldwide, where he was formerly SVP Sales and Marketing and most recently CEO.

Steven Hirsch, Principal, joined Sterling in 2017 from McKinsey & Company where he focused on strategic and operational topics for transportation, manufacturing and distribution companies. Steven previously held roles in program management and revenue management at American Airlines during the Chapter 11 bankruptcy and restructuring process.

John Griffin, Principal, joined Sterling in 2018 from McKinsey & Company where he was focused on operational and strategic initiatives for industrial and energy businesses. John also brings experience from Madison Dearborn Partners where he worked across Basic Industries, Business & Government Services, and Financial Services verticals.

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 56 platform companies and numerous add-on acquisitions for a total transaction value of over $10.0 billion. Currently, Sterling has over $2.0 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.



Acquisition

Houston, TX January 28, 2020

Construction Supply Group, a Portfolio Company of The Sterling Group, Acquires Hub Construction Specialties

The Sterling Group, a Houston-based middle market private equity firm, announced that its portfolio company, Construction Supply Group (“CSG”), has completed the acquisition of Hub Construction Specialties, Inc. (“Hub”). Operating 15 branch locations throughout California and Arizona, Hub is a construction supply and concrete accessory provider, serving customers for over 60 years.

Construction Supply Group is a leader in the distribution of specialty construction materials, accessories and tools, primarily for professional concrete and masonry contractors in the United States and Canada. The company has over 130 branches with approximately 2,000+ employees and offers over 60,000 SKUs to over 65,000 customers.

The partnership with Hub expands CSG’s footprint in California’s attractive Inland Empire. “Hub’s established presence in the industry and strong vendor relationships are a welcome addition to CSG’s overall efforts and will help provide a greater national reach,” said Mitch Williams, CEO of Construction Supply Group. “We are looking forward to partnering with the Hub team.”

The acquisition of Hub Construction Specialties is Construction Supply Group’s nineteenth acquisition since inception. The company will continue to seek growth opportunities to better serve its 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 $750 million. Sterling has sponsored the buyout of 56 platform companies and numerous add-on acquisitions for a total transaction value of over $10.0 billion. Currently, Sterling has over $2.0 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.



News

Houston, TX December 19, 2019

The Sterling Group Announces Scott MacLaren has been Named Partner

The Sterling Group, a Houston-based middle market private equity firm, is pleased to announce that Scott MacLaren has been named Partner.

Scott joined The Sterling Group in 2014 from The Boston Consulting Group where he focused on operational improvement initiatives for industrial and energy companies. Prior to entering the private sector, Scott was a Ranger qualified officer in the United States Army where he led a scout platoon during the troop surge in Iraq, and later served as a company commander in charge of 120 personnel. Scott received a B.S. in Economics from the United States Military Academy at West Point and an MBA from the Wharton School.

Scott’s first investment at Sterling was American Bath Group, a turnaround effort and industry consolidation in the bathware manufacturing industry. Scott spent a year embedded at the company, using his experience leading teams and driving operational change to completely transform the company’s transportation and logistics program, as well as executing four strategic acquisitions. During his time at ABG, the Company experienced over 200% EBITDA growth. Since then, he has been instrumental in Sterling Group investments such as Highline, Evergreen, Lynx FBO, and Polychem.

“We are excited to have Scott join our partnership. His operational, commercial, and transactional capabilities underlie Scott’s strong contribution to Sterling, our portfolio companies, and our investors,” said Gary Rosenthal, a Partner at The Sterling Group.

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 56 platform companies and numerous add-on acquisitions for a total transaction value of over $10.0 billion. Currently, Sterling has over $2.0 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.