News

Acquisition

Houston, TX January 04, 2021

Frontline Road Safety, A Portfolio Company of The Sterling Group, Completes the Acquisition of Hi-Lite Airfield Services and Hires Tony G. Plut as CEO

Frontline Road Safety, a portfolio company of The Sterling Group (“Sterling”), today announced the acquisition of Hi-Lite Airfield Services and the hiring of CEO Tony G. Plut. Through its operating companies, Frontline provides pavement marking services to a variety of end markets and customers.

The Hi-Lite transaction marks Frontline’s fourth acquisition since the platform was established in July 2020. Headquartered in Watertown, NY and Bradenton, FL, Hi-Lite is the largest airfield-focused pavement marking contractor in North America. The company performs airfield marking and rubber removal services throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, Canada and the Caribbean.

“Hi-Lite is a best-in-class operator, and a perfect fit within the expanding Frontline family of companies,” said Brad Staller, Partner at The Sterling Group. “The Frontline and Hi-Lite missions are completely aligned, and we look forward to working together to continue to provide the highest quality solutions to our customers,” said Chris Miller, President of Hi-Lite.

Brad Staller added, “We believe the addition of Tony to lead Frontline as CEO will further strengthen our ability to deliver superior execution and service for our customers on a local level, as well as continue to grow our footprint nationally.”

“I am thrilled to work alongside Sterling with the shared vision of building a national leader in the road safety industry and am excited by what this latest acquisition brings to our platform,” said Tony G. Plut, CEO of Frontline.

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 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

Houston, TX December 15, 2020

Lynx FBO Network, a Portfolio Company of The Sterling Group, Acquires Providence, RI FBO

Lynx FBO Network (“Lynx”), a portfolio company of The Sterling Group, announced today it has acquired the FBO assets of Northstar Aviation at the Theodore Francis Green State Airport (PVD) in Providence, Rhode Island. The acquisition marks Lynx’s ninth FBO location.

“We are excited to further expand the Lynx FBO Network in the Northeast United States, and Providence will greatly enhance our East Coast presence.  We look forward to working with the Rhode Island Airport Corporation, the local FBO team, and all stakeholders in continuing the great partnership Northstar Aviation has established over their tenure of over 30 years at the airport,” said Chad Farischon, President and Partner of Lynx.

“Providence is a strategic location for Lynx that has been a top priority target for years,” said Greg Elliott, a Partner at The Sterling Group. “Our team’s ability to get this across the finish line during COVID shows our commitment and ability to continue to expand our network in any environment.”

Lynx is a rapidly growing network of FBOs in the general aviation industry with locations in Napa, California, Destin, Florida, Minneapolis (Anoka), Minnesota, Portland (Aurora), Oregon, Little Rock, Arkansas, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Morristown, New Jersey and now Providence, Rhode Island.  The Lynx vision is to build a values-based FBO network known for exceptional service and quality, a rewarding team member experience, and a commitment to continuing excellence. The Lynx team is comprised of industry veterans who have worked together building FBO networks over many years, serving in management roles at numerous large FBO networks including Landmark Aviation, Atlantic Aviation and Trajen. Honigman Miller Schwartz & Cohn LLP served as legal advisor to Lynx in the acquisition. Lynx and Sterling continue to actively seek FBO acquisitions in North America.

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 57 platform companies and numerous add-on acquisitions for a total transaction value of over $14.0 billion. Sterling currently 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.



Team Additions

Houston, TX December 02, 2020

The Sterling Group Announces New Managing Director, Jenny Harris

The Sterling Group, a Houston-based, operationally focused middle market private equity and private credit firm, announced the addition of Jenny Harris as Managing Director of the firm’s Credit Fund.

Jenny brings 15 years of experience evaluating and underwriting debt capital and equity co-investments. Prior to Sterling, Jenny was a Managing Director at BNP Paribas where she led a team focused on providing leveraged credit solutions for private equity sponsors. Jenny and Sterling Credit Fund Partner Sean Davenport worked closely together at BNP Paribas for over eight years and served as important lending partners to Sterling and other middle market sponsors.

The Sterling Group Credit Fund was formed in 2017 to offer both Sterling and other relationship focused sponsors debt capital to help finance and grow middle market 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 57 platform companies and numerous add-on acquisitions for a total transaction value of over $14.0 billion. Sterling currently 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.



Sales

Houston, TX November 10, 2020

The Sterling Group Completes the Sale of Highline Aftermarket

The Sterling Group, a middle market private equity firm, announced today that it has completed the sale of Highline Aftermarket Holdings, LLC (“Highline”) to Pritzker Private Capital.  Highline is a leading national distributor and manufacturer of automotive aftermarket products.

Sterling formed Highline in 2016 through the simultaneous acquisitions of DYK Automotive, owned by the Dobbs’ family office and AAHC, a corporate carve-out from Marubeni. In bringing together these two businesses, and through five subsequent acquisitions, Sterling built a leading company in the distribution and manufacture of consumables in the automotive aftermarket.

“Sterling’s deep experience in distribution and value added, hands-on approach to partnering with our management team, was instrumental in building Highline from a group of separate legacy businesses into an integrated, functionally organized, efficient market leader taking advantage of numerous growth opportunities,”  said Darcy Curran, Highline CEO.

“Working with Sterling, Darcy Curran and the entire Highline team drove exceptional execution,” said Gary Rosenthal, a Partner at The Sterling Group.  “During Sterling’s ownership, Highline has more than tripled in size, with every aspect of the business experiencing investment and significant improvement.  Additionally, consistent with Sterling’s practice, a large number of Highline employees became equity holders and will benefit substantially from the transaction.”

The Sterling Group has almost four decades of experience partnering with management teams to execute corporate carve-outs and family owned business transitions.  Over the last five years, five of Sterling’s new platforms, like Highline, have been formed through the initial simultaneous acquisition of two or more companies.

About Highline Aftermarket

Headquartered in Memphis, TN, Highline Aftermarket is a leading national distributor of automotive products, with fifteen distribution centers and eight 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. Highline is the leading manufacturer of windshield wash in the U.S.

Additional information about Highline Aftermarket is available at www.highlineaftermarket.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 57 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 $4.0 billion of assets under management. For further information, please visit www.sterling-group.com.



News

Atlanta, GA October 19, 2020

White Cap and Construction Supply Group Combine to Create $4 Billion Market-Leading Distributor of Concrete Accessories and Specialty Construction Products

Transaction Will Enhance Capabilities to Serve Professional Contractors with Broader Product & Service Offerings and Expanded Reach

White Cap Supply Holdings, LLC (“White Cap”) and Construction Supply Group (“CSG”) announce today the successful separation of White Cap from HD Supply and its combination with CSG. The combined transaction, valued at approximately $4 billion and including investments by Clayton, Dubilier & Rice (“CD&R”) and The Sterling Group funds, creates the leading North American distributor of a diverse mix of concrete accessories and specialty construction and safety products by revenues with more than $4 billion annually.

Following the transaction, CD&R funds hold a 65 percent ownership interest in the combined company, and the prior shareholders of CSG, led by The Sterling Group, hold a 35 percent interest.

CSG and White Cap have highly complementary product offerings and geographic footprints, aligned cultures and strong talent focused on providing exceptional customer service to professional contractors. John Stegeman, CEO of White Cap, and Alan Sollenberger, President of White Cap, will lead the combined business.

“Both White Cap and CSG share the same vision of continuous growth with the goal to relentlessly improve customer service,” said John Stegeman. “By joining together, our platform allows expansion of our product and service offerings across more than 400 locations in 46 U.S. States and 8 Canadian Provinces. Our goal is to provide even greater value for our customers and enhance our ability to serve with excellence. This is an incredibly exciting time for our associates, customers, and suppliers.”

The combined strength of White Cap and CSG will include:

An outside sales force of over 850 associates with significant industry experience

More than 1,000 inside and counter sales associates to deliver on our promise of two-hour ready will call at our locations

Nearly 2,000 delivery vehicles to enable our same day or next day service to job sites

A comprehensive offering of 400,000+ products from more than 4,500 suppliers

“Both businesses have incredible histories of exceptional customer service,” said Alan Sollenberger. “As we join together, we will continue to build on our vast experiences and stronger future by investing in focused local growth initiatives with the support of our national platform.”

“Our goal with this transformational combination is to bring to life the many benefits of our combination for our customers,” said John Stegeman.

About White Cap

White Cap serves as a one-stop shop providing concrete accessories and chemicals, tools and equipment, building materials and fasteners, erosion and waterproofing and safety products to professional contractors by meeting their distinct and customized supply needs in non-residential, residential and infrastructure end markets. White Cap operates 268 branches with approximately 5,300 employees and offers more than 400,000 SKUs to 200,000 customers. For more information, visit www.whitecap.com.

About Construction Supply Group

CSG 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. With over 132 branches and approximately 2,000 employees, CSG offers over 60,000 SKUs to over 65,000 customers. For more information, visit www.constructionsupplygroup.com.

About Clayton, Dubilier & Rice

Founded in 1978, Clayton, Dubilier & Rice is a private investment firm. Since inception, CD&R has managed the investment of more than $30 billion in 95 companies with an aggregate transaction value of more than $150 billion. The Firm has offices in New York and London. For more information, visit www.cdr-inc.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 $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.



Sales

Houston, TX October 08, 2020

The Sterling Group to Sell Highline Aftermarket

The Sterling Group, a middle market private equity firm, announced today that it has signed a definitive agreement to sell Highline Aftermarket Holdings, LLC (“Highline”) to Pritzker Private Capital. Highline is a leading national distributor and manufacturer of automotive aftermarket products. The transaction is expected to close by December 2020.

Sterling formed Highline in 2016 through the simultaneous acquisitions of DYK Automotive, owned by the Dobbs’ family office and AAHC, a corporate carve-out from Marubeni. In bringing together these two businesses, and through five subsequent acquisitions, Sterling built a leading company in the distribution and manufacture of consumables in the automotive aftermarket.

“Sterling’s deep experience in distribution and value added, hands-on approach to partnering with our management team, was instrumental in building Highline from a group of separate legacy businesses into an integrated, functionally organized, efficient market leader taking advantage of numerous growth opportunities,” said Darcy Curran, Highline CEO.

“Working with Sterling, Darcy Curran and the entire Highline team drove exceptional execution,” said Gary Rosenthal, a Partner at The Sterling Group. “During Sterling’s ownership, Highline has more than tripled in size, with every aspect of the business experiencing investment and significant improvement. Additionally, consistent with Sterling’s practice, a large number of Highline employees became equity holders and will benefit substantially from the transaction.”

The Sterling Group has almost four decades of experience partnering with management teams to execute corporate carve-outs and family owned business transitions. Over the last five years, five of Sterling’s new platforms, like Highline, have been formed through the initial simultaneous acquisition of two or more companies.

ABOUT HIGHLINE AFTERMARKET

Headquartered in Memphis, TN, Highline Aftermarket is a leading national distributor of automotive products, with fifteen distribution centers and eight 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. Highline is the leading manufacturer of windshield wash in the U.S.

Additional information about Highline Aftermarket is available at www.highlineaftermarket.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 $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 more information, please visit sterling-group.com.



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.