News

Acquisition

Houston, TX March 07, 2023

The Sterling Group and Capitol Meridian Partners Agree to Buy PrimeFlight Aviation Services

Large and growing market, breadth of service offerings and customers served, and strong operating performance all position PrimeFlight for compelling growth

The Sterling Group and Capitol Meridian Partners today announced a definitive agreement to buy PrimeFlight Aviation Services (“PrimeFlight” or the “Company”) from funds managed by global investment firm Carlyle (NASDAQ: CG). PrimeFlight is a global provider of essential aircraft, passenger, and security-related services to commercial airline, airport, cargo, and general aviation customers.

The transaction is expected to close by Q3 2023 upon satisfaction of customary closing conditions. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Headquartered in Sugar Land, TX, PrimeFlight has operations across ~235 stations globally. It provides a full suite of services through its network of subsidiaries, including PrimeFlight Cargo, PrimeFlight GSE Maintenance, Prime Appearance, ProFlo Industries, Skytanking, and Aviation Cleaning Supply. PrimeFlight has more than 20 years of service excellence in the aviation industry, offering customers broad and reliable support, including mission-critical fueling, deicing, and ground handling services. The Company employs ~12,000 employees across its global footprint, with primary operations in North America and Europe.

“This is an exciting time for PrimeFlight as we have significantly expanded our operations outside of North America, continue to execute on new business wins, and we have a strong pipeline of continued growth through our global footprint,” said Dan Bucaro, PrimeFlight Chief Executive Officer. “We look forward to partnering with The Sterling Group and with Capitol Meridian Partners in this evolution.”

Greg Elliott, Partner of The Sterling Group, added: “We have partnered with Dan Bucaro as CEO, Chairman, or Board Member on nine companies over the past twenty years. Dan and his team of industry veterans have built a tremendous platform for growth in PrimeFlight. We look forward to our continued partnership.”

McDermott Will & Emery is serving as legal counsel to The Sterling Group and Capitol Meridian Partners. Latham & Watkins, LLP is serving as legal counsel to PrimeFlight and Carlyle, and Morgan Stanley and Jefferies, LLC served as financial advisors.

About PrimeFlight Aviation Services

Headquartered in Sugar Land, Texas, PrimeFlight Aviation Services provides major airlines, airports, cargo and general aviation customers with GSE maintenance, ground handling services, aircraft services, into-plane fueling, deicing, aviation cleaning supplies, and terminal services, across a global footprint. For more information, visit www.primeflight.com.



Team Additions

Houston, TX February 28, 2023

The Sterling Group Announces Promotions

The Sterling Group, a Houston-based, operationally focused middle market private equity firm, is pleased to announce that Franny Jones, Jim Apple and Jud Morrison have been promoted to Partner. In addition, Claudine Lussier was promoted to Managing Director, Human Capital.

“We are excited to recognize the dedication and contributions of these key team members,” said Brad Staller, Partner at The Sterling Group. “Franny, Jim, Jud and Claudine are experts in their respective roles and have played a critical part in Sterling’s success to date. We are thrilled to celebrate the talents and contributions of these four individuals.”

Franny Jones, Partner, Investor Relations, joined Sterling in 2010 to lead the firm’s fundraising and investor relations efforts. During Franny’s time at Sterling, the firm has raised five funds across its Middle Market, Lower Middle Market and Private Credit strategies totaling over $4.4 billion in capital commitments.

Jim Apple, Partner, Sourcing, joined Sterling in 2013 to lead the firm’s sourcing efforts. For over a decade, Jim has helped families and entrepreneurs, find and structure the right solutions for their businesses. Jim is passionate about understanding the current and potential “future state” of a company and its industry, a passion shared across the Sterling team.

Jud Morrison, Partner, Operations, joined Sterling in 2018 to lead the execution of operational initiatives at Sterling portfolio companies and continuous improvement efforts within Sterling. Jud works closely with Sterling’s investment professionals and portfolio management teams to drive growth and build capabilities for Sterling portfolio companies. Since joining Sterling, Jud has played a critical role in the execution and continued refinement of the Sterling value creation model.

Claudine Lussier, Managing Director, joined Sterling in 2017 to lead both the firm’s and its portfolio companies’ human capital efforts. She is responsible for developing and implementing people and talent management strategies to help drive growth through comprehensive human talent strategies and the identification and acquisition of talent.

To learn more about a career at The Sterling Group, please visit www.sterling-group.com/careers/ or contact Claudine Lussier at clussier@sterling-group.com.

About The Sterling Group

Founded in 1982, The Sterling Group is a private equity and private credit investment firm that targets investments in basic manufacturing, distribution, and industrial services companies. Typical enterprise values of these companies at initial formation range from $100 million to $750 million. Sterling has sponsored the buyout of 64 platform companies and numerous add-on acquisitions for a total transaction value of over $14.0 billion. Sterling currently has over $5.1 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

Bradenton, FL January 13, 2023

Hi-Lite Airfield Services, A Subsidiary of Frontline Road Safety, Completes the Acquisition of Axtell’s, Inc.

Hi-Lite Airfield Services (“Hi-Lite”), a subsidiary of Frontline Road Safety (“Frontline”), today announced the acquisition of the airfield marking business of Axtell’s, Inc. Frontline, a portfolio company of The Sterling Group (“Sterling”), is a family of operating companies that provides pavement marking and ancillary services to a variety of end markets and customers.

The Axtell’s, Inc. transaction marks Frontline’s ninth acquisition since the platform was established in July 2020. Headquartered in Jermyn, Pennsylvania, Axtell’s, Inc. is a leading pavement marking business specializing in general airfield pavement maintenance. Hi-Lite and Axtell’s, Inc. will operate as an integrated business going forward, with the same crews and leadership team members dedicated to providing customers with best-in-class airfield pavement marking and maintenance services.

“Hi-Lite and Axtell’s, Inc. are a natural fit as both teams share an unwavering commitment to performing work of the highest quality, providing unparalleled levels of customer service, and operating with a ‘safety-first’ culture,” said Chris Miller, President of Hi-Lite Airfield Services.

“Axtell’s, Inc. has always taken great pride in the quality of services we provide to our customers. We are thrilled to partner with a business that has the same values,” said Robert Butts, Vice President of Axtell’s, Inc. “Partnering with Frontline and Hi-Lite will provide us with a tremendous opportunity to expand our reach and capabilities.”

“We are excited to make this investment and look forward to adding additional best-in-class operations to the Frontline platform in 2023 and beyond,” said Mitch Williams, CEO of Frontline Road Safety.

Over the last several years, Sterling has executed on its investment thesis to build a leader in the road safety and infrastructure maintenance industry. Through organic growth and further acquisitions, Sterling intends to continue building Frontline into the leading platform for road safety solutions 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 and private credit investment firm that targets investments in basic manufacturing, distribution, and industrial services companies. Typical enterprise values of these companies at initial formation range from $100 million to $750 million. Sterling has sponsored the buyout of 64 platform companies and numerous add-on acquisitions for a total transaction value of over $14.0 billion. Sterling currently has over $5.1 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 December 19, 2022

The Sterling Group Completes the Acquisition of Gulf Winds International

The Sterling Group (“Sterling”), an operationally-focused middle market private equity firm, is pleased to announce the acquisition of Gulf Winds International (“Gulf Winds”). Headquartered in Houston, Texas, Gulf Winds is a second-generation, family-owned provider of intermodal transportation solutions, including container drayage, warehousing / transloading, and container storage.

“Gulf Winds plays a critical role in global trade and logistics through its operations in several growing U.S. ports,” said Brian Henry, Partner at The Sterling Group. “We look forward to supporting management in accelerating the company’s future growth.”

“Given Sterling’s employee-focused approach to their business partnerships and their track record in partnering with branch-based and family-owned businesses, Sterling was the ideal partner for us,” said BJ Tarver, CEO of Gulf Winds International. “By joining forces with Sterling, we will be able to expand our reach and better serve our customers in the U.S. import/export and rail container drayage market.”

Sterling has a long history of partnering with family and entrepreneur owners and their management teams to support the growth of their businesses. 75% of Sterling’s historical platform investments have either been corporate carve-outs or entrepreneur / family-owned businesses.

About The Sterling Group

Founded in 1982, The Sterling Group is a private equity and private credit investment firm that targets investments in basic manufacturing, distribution, and industrial services companies. Typical enterprise values of these companies at initial formation range from $100 million to $750 million. Sterling has sponsored the buyout of 64 platform companies and numerous add-on acquisitions for a total transaction value of over $14.0 billion. Sterling currently has over $5.1 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 November 28, 2022

The Sterling Group Named to Inc.’s 2022 List of Founder-Friendly Investors

The Sterling Group (“Sterling”), a Houston-based, operationally focused middle market private equity firm, is delighted to announce that it has been named to Inc.’s fourth annual Founder-Friendly Investors list. Inc.’s list honors the private equity and venture capital firms with the best track record of success backing entrepreneurs, and this is the fourth consecutive year Sterling has been included on the list.

“We are committed to building long-term partnerships with entrepreneurs and founders to support their business goals and help accelerate their growth plans,” said Jim Apple, a Managing Director at The Sterling Group. “Our recognition on this list speaks to the level of trust we have built with families and founders in the industrial sector over the past four decades.”

Approximately 75% of Sterling platform investments in the last six years have involved partnerships with family or entrepreneur owned or operated businesses. Over the past forty years, Sterling has collaborated with numerous entrepreneur owners, working closely with management to drive fundamental improvement at each platform company.

Inc.’s 2022 List of Founder-Friendly Investors recognizes 184 firms that entrepreneurs can trust and collaborate with while receiving the financial support they need to help accelerate growth. All 184 have a successful track record of remaining actively involved in the businesses after their investment. To see the complete list, go to: https://www.inc.com/founder-friendly-investors/2022.

About The Sterling Group

Founded in 1982, The Sterling Group is a private equity and private credit investment firm that targets investments in basic manufacturing, distribution, and industrial services companies. Typical enterprise values of these companies at initial formation range from $100 million to $750 million. Sterling has sponsored the buyout of 63 platform companies and numerous add-on acquisitions for a total transaction value of over $14.0 billion. Sterling currently has over $5.7 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.

Any subjective views or opinions expressed herein should not be construed as absolute statements and are subject to change without notice to you. No representation, express or implied, is given regarding the accuracy of the information contained herein. Any forward-looking statements included herein are based on The Sterling Group’s current opinions, assumptions, expectations, beliefs, intentions, regarding future events, are subject to risks and uncertainties, and are provided for informational purposes only.

The Sterling Group paid a fee to be considered for this list, which was issued on October 4th, 2022 and covers the period of April 2021 to April 2022. This list is based on an analysis of information gathered by Inc. Magazine using its own methodologies and criteria, which analysis relies in part on certain subjective determinations and is subject to inherent limitations.



Team Additions

Houston, TX October 04, 2022

The Sterling Group Announces Addition of Amath Fall, Operating Partner, Financial Operations

The Sterling Group, a Houston-based, operationally focused middle market private equity firm, announces the addition of Amath Fall as Operating Partner, Financial Operations. As a member of the firm’s Portfolio Resources Group, Amath will lead value creation initiatives in the areas of accounting and financial operations across the firm’s portfolio companies.

Amath brings over 20 years of financial and operational leadership experience as Chief Financial Officer and in other various roles in industrial businesses. Most recently, Amath was the Chief Operating Officer after serving as CFO at Berlin Packaging, where he led a team of around 600 employees. Amath also brings experience from his time as CFO of FleetPride.

“Amath brings extraordinary operational and financial expertise to the Sterling team, and will have a tremendous impact on our portfolio companies as a critical and integral part of the Sterling value creation model,” said Brad Staller, Partner at The Sterling Group.

For forty years, Sterling has partnered with management teams of industrial businesses to drive growth and transformation. Sterling investment teams and members of its Portfolio Resources Group work collaboratively with management teams to seek growth and optimize operations. Over 75% of Sterling’s past investments have been corporate carve-outs or partnerships with family or entrepreneur owned businesses.

About The Sterling Group

Founded in 1982, The Sterling Group is a private equity and private credit investment firm that targets investments in basic manufacturing, distribution, and industrial services companies. Typical enterprise values of these companies at initial formation range from $100 million to $750 million. Sterling has sponsored the buyout of 63 platform companies and numerous add-on acquisitions for a total transaction value of over $14.0 billion. Sterling currently has over $5.7 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 July 07, 2022

The Sterling Group Completes the Acquisition of Ergotron, Inc.

The Sterling Group (“Sterling”), an operationally-focused middle market private equity firm, is pleased to announce the acquisition of Ergotron, Inc. (“Ergotron”) from Melrose Industries PLC. Headquartered in St. Paul, Minnesota, Ergotron is a leading designer, manufacturer, and distributor of ergonomic products for use across healthcare, workspace, industrial, and education settings.

“Ergotron is a pioneer in ergonomic solutions, and its strong market position and commitment to its customers and employees seamlessly align with Sterling’s employee-focused approach to partnerships,” said Brad Staller, Partner at The Sterling Group. “We look forward to supporting the management team as they look to accelerate growth.”

“Our partnership with Sterling Group will enable Ergotron to continue building on its 40-year legacy of designing solutions that support the wellness of caregivers and workers and how they interact with technology,” said Chad Severson, CEO of Ergotron. “We look forward to collaborating with the Sterling team to continue empowering people across the globe to improve how they work, learn, play and care for others.”

Sterling has deep experience with corporate carve-outs, having previously partnered with management teams to transition over 20 companies to standalone businesses. 75% of Sterling’s historical platform investments have either been corporate carve-outs or entrepreneur / family-owned businesses.

About Ergotron, Inc.

Ergotron, Inc. is a global leader in designing ergonomic solutions that connect people and technology to enhance human performance, health and happiness. Using the Technology of Movement™, Ergotron builds products and custom solutions that help people feel a new sense of energy in healthcare, industrial and office settings, both at home and on-site.

Through its 40-year history, Ergotron has led the industry with innovative, professional-grade products and customer-focused service. The company has earned more than 200 patents and established a growing portfolio of award-winning brands including WorkFit® and CareFit™, and patented Constant Force™ and LiFeKinnex™ technologies. Ergotron is headquartered in St. Paul, Minnesota, with a presence in North America, EMEA and Asia Pacific.

About The Sterling Group

Founded in 1982, The Sterling Group is a private equity investment firm that targets controlling interests in basic manufacturing, distribution, and industrial services companies. Typical enterprise values of these companies at initial formation range from $100 million to $750 million. Sterling has sponsored the buyout of 63 platform companies and numerous add-on acquisitions for a total transaction value of over $14.0 billion. Sterling recently closed its fifth investment fund with $2.0 billion in commitments and currently has over $5.7 billion of assets under management. For further information, please visit sterling-group.com.

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



Acquisition

Houston, Texas June 02, 2022

Frontline Road Safety, A Portfolio Company of The Sterling Group, Completes the Acquisition of Ozark Striping Company, LLC

Frontline Road Safety (“Frontline”), a portfolio company of The Sterling Group (“Sterling”), today announced the acquisition of the pavement marking contracting operations of Ozark Striping Company, LLC. (“Ozark”). Frontline’s operating companies provide pavement marking and ancillary services to a variety of end markets and customers.

The Ozark transaction marks Frontline’s eighth acquisition since the platform was established in July 2020. Headquartered in Ozark, Alabama, Ozark Striping Company is a pavement marking contractor known across the industry as one of the leading firms in the nation.

“We are excited to expand our footprint in the Southeast region by partnering with this best-in-class pavement marking firm and look forward to working with the outstanding team at Ozark,” said Mitch Williams, CEO of Frontline Road Safety. “Ozark has a strong presence in Alabama and is a great addition to the Frontline family.”

“We have built a premier pavement marking contractor of considerable scale and believe Frontline is the ideal partner for Ozark going forward,” said Lee Gross, President of Ozark Striping Company.

Over the last several years, Sterling has executed on its investment thesis to build a leader in the road safety and infrastructure maintenance industry. Through organic growth and further acquisitions, Sterling intends to continue building Frontline into the leading platform for road safety solutions 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 at initial formation range from $100 million to $750 million. Sterling has sponsored the buyout of 62 platform companies and numerous add-on acquisitions for a total transaction value of over $14.0 billion. Sterling recently closed its fifth investment fund with $2.0 billion in commitments and currently has over $5.7 billion of assets under management. For further information, please visit sterling-group.com.



Acquisition

Houston, TX May 02, 2022

Fencing Supply Group, A Portfolio Company of The Sterling Group, Acquires Specialty Fence Wholesale, Inc.

Fencing Supply Group (FSG) today announced that it has acquired Specialty Fence Wholesale, Inc. (SFW), a respected leading wholesaler of vinyl and aluminum fencing products in the Central Florida market.

“It is truly an exciting time, and we are thrilled to welcome the talented and dedicated people of Specialty Fence Wholesale, Inc. to our Fencing Supply Group team,” said Andrea Hogan, CEO of Fencing Supply Group. “We are building North America’s premiere distribution company for fencing and outdoor living products, and SFW is the ideal addition to our team.”

“Specialty Fence Wholesale complements our existing footprint in the Tampa and Southeast regional area,” added Jeff Cook, FSG Executive Vice President of M&A and Greenfields. “New and existing customers will benefit from having more options and greater access to high-quality fencing, perimeter security and outdoor living products.”

“We are proud of what we built over the past 20 years. Specialty Fence Wholesale has a strong reputation for quality products, competitive pricing, and the best customer service,” remarked Al Robinson, owner of Specialty Fence Wholesale, Inc. “Today, we found the right partner in Fencing Supply Group, who will help us elevate what we do so well to the next level.”

Fencing Supply Group is a portfolio company of The Sterling Group, an operationally focused private equity firm focused on the industrial sector. Sterling has deep experience in the building products distribution industry, having previously partnered with entrepreneur owners to build Roofing Supply Group, Construction Supply Group, and Artisan Design Group. Fencing Supply Group and Sterling intend to continue to support the platform through organic growth initiatives and an active acquisition strategy.

About Fencing Supply Group

Founded in 2021, Fencing Supply Group (FSG) is a group of industry-leading fencing distributors. FSG is the largest wholesale distributor and manufacturer of fencing and outdoor living supplies in the United States. FSG businesses serve professional fencing contractors who provide new, improvement, and repair fencing services across residential, industrial, commercial, and infrastructure end markets. The FSG model combines local relationships, service, and expertise with national scale and resources to benefit customers, employees, and suppliers. Current FSG companies include Binford Supply, Cedar Supply, Fence Supply, Merchants Metals, Pro Access Systems, Sharon Fence Distributors, Specialty Fence Wholesale Jacksonville, and Vinyl By Design, which collectively operate nearly 70 branches across more than 30 states.

About The Sterling Group

Founded in 1982, The Sterling Group is a private equity investment firm that targets controlling interests in basic manufacturing, distribution, and industrial services companies. Typical enterprise values of these companies at initial formation range from $100 million to $750 million. Sterling has sponsored the buyout of 62 platform companies and numerous add-on acquisitions for a total transaction value of over $14.0 billion. Sterling recently closed its fifth investment fund with $2.0 billion in commitments and currently has over $5.7 billion of assets under management. For further information, please visit sterling-group.com.



Team Additions

Houston, TX April 18, 2022

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 Meghan Leggett as Director, and Jared North as Director, Sourcing, as well as six internal promotions: John Griffin has been promoted to Director; Steven Hirsch to Director; Nate Reeve to Principal; Annika Ward to Vice President, Management Company Accounting; Jared Bell to Vice President; and Christine Shtepani to Vice President, Sourcing.

“Each of these talented individuals has made tremendous contributions to the firm and we look forward to their continued success in their new roles,” said Brad Staller, Partner at The Sterling Group.

Meghan Leggett, Director, joins Sterling from White Deer Energy where she was a Managing Director focused on investing in products and services businesses in the energy, industrials and infrastructure end markets. Jared North, Director, Sourcing, joined Sterling in March to expand the firm’s sourcing efforts in the Northeast. Prior to Sterling, he spent twelve years in investment banking, most recently with Stifel and RBC Capital Markets in New York, advising clients on acquisitions, divestitures and financings across the Diversified Industrials sector.

To learn more about a career at The Sterling Group, please visit www.sterling-group.com/careers/ or contact Claudine Lussier at clussier@sterling-group.com.

About The Sterling Group

Founded in 1982, The Sterling Group is a private equity investment firm that targets controlling interests in basic manufacturing, distribution, and industrial services companies. Typical enterprise values of these companies at initial formation range from $100 million to $750 million. Sterling has sponsored the buyout of 62 platform companies and numerous add-on acquisitions for a total transaction value of over $14.0 billion. Sterling recently closed its fifth investment fund with $2.0 billion in commitments and currently has over $5.7 billion of assets under management. For further information, please visit sterling-group.com.

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