Financial Sponsor Coverage

Customized Solutions. Superior Execution.
Unparalleled Results.

Western Reserve’s financial sponsor coverage team maintains a regular dialogue with many of the most active North American middle market private equity firms, with a particular emphasis on those whose activities align most closely with our industry strengths.  The sponsor coverage team helps to ensure optimal transaction execution for both corporate clients and financial sponsors by:

  • Maintaining a thorough understanding of each private equity firm’s investment interests, current portfolio and transaction history
  • Drawing on our professionals’ deep industry expertise and strategic relationships to create tailored investment opportunities and thoughtful exit options for our private equity clients
  • Providing our private clients with a comprehensive, carefully crafted selection of the most suitable and interested potential private equity partners
  • Working with Western Reserve product specialists’ deep relationships with senior and subordinated/mezzanine lenders to provide potential investors and acquirers with insights regarding potential transaction financing levels and structures

Representative Financial Sponsor Transactions

  • ESSCO Inc. (portfolio company of MCM Capital Partners)

    Western Reserve served as the exclusive investment banker to MCM Capital Partners in the firm’s sale of ESSCO, the leading distributor of floor care products to independent storefront and internet retailers in the United States.  ESSCO was acquired by Cardinal Equity Partners, an Indianapolis-based private equity firm.

    Founded in 1924 and based in Twinsburg, Ohio, ESSCO distributes over 12,000 SKUs of floor care cleaning equipment and consumable parts, including products from Hoover, Kirby, Bissell, Oreck and Panasonic.  ESSCO’s unique nationwide distribution network allows it to provide time sensitive floor care retailers with the fastest lead times and broadest product selection in the industry.  ESSCO is also a leading provider of drop ship services for specialty floor care internet retailers and internet order fulfillment services for mass merchant retailers.

    Leading the transaction for Western Reserve was Managing Director David Dunstan, Vice President Andrew Male and Analyst Jessica Fleck.  Western Reserve also represented ESSCO in its original sale to MCM Capital Partners in 2005.

    “Western Reserve is proud to have represented ESSCO in its sale first to MCM and now to Cardinal,” said Mr. Dunstan.  “ESSCO has built the leading nationwide distribution platform and an exceptional management team under MCM’s guidance.  The company, now the well entrenched market leader, is exceptionally well positioned for future growth.”

    Steve Ross, Managing Director and Partner of MCM Capital Partners, said of Western Reserve’s involvement, “The Western Reserve team executed a highly efficient process that allowed MCM to realize an excellent return for its shareholders and find an ideal partner for ESSCO’s management team and employees going forward.”

    ESSCO Chief Executive Officer Tom Bianco said, “Western Reserve’s assistance was critical for our management team throughout the sale process.  Our team is excited to be partnering with Cardinal Equity Partners as we continue to develop new and innovative ways to best service the floor care industry.”

    . . .

    The testimonials presented are applicable to the individuals depicted and may not be representative of the experience of others.  The testimonials are not paid and are not indicative of future performance or success.

  • Signature Styles, LLC (portfolio company of Patriarch Partners)

    Western Reserve represented Signature Styles, LLC in its bankruptcy reorganization pursuant to Section 363 of the Bankruptcy Code.  Based in New York, NY, Signature Styles is a direct-to-consumer marketer of women’s fashion apparel comprising three distinct brands: Spiegel, Newport News and Shape FX.

    Signature Styles commenced a Chapter 11 bankruptcy case in June and filed a motion to sell the company to a stalking horse bidder, Artemiss, LLC.  Artemiss had entered into an asset purchase agreement for aggregate consideration of the assumption of certain liabilities and obligations of the company.  In its final form, Artemiss also paid cash consideration of $2.0 million to unsecured creditors.

    In accordance with procedures approved by the bankruptcy court, written offers were solicited by Western Reserve from over 270 other prospective purchasers to “top” the stalking horse bid.  Artemiss emerged from the process as the prevailing bidder, and its acquisition of Signature Styles was approved by the court on September 7, 2011.

     

  • Fairmount Minerals

    Western Reserve provided the fairness opinion to the Board of Directors of FML Holdings, Inc. (d/b/a Fairmount Minerals) in its sale to American Securities.

    Headquartered in Chardon, Ohio, Fairmount is one of the largest producers of industrial sand in the U.S. At the time of the transaction, approximately 80% of the company’s sales were tied to the oil and natural gas production markets, with the remainder going to commercial and industrial uses, including foundries, construction, golf courses, artificial turfs, etc.

    To provide liquidity to certain of Fairmount’s shareholders, the company entered into an agreement to sell a 51% common equity stake to American Securities. Western Reserve was engaged to provide Fairmount’s Board of Directors with a fairness opinion, and the transaction was consummated in August 2010.

  • Galaxy Associates, Inc. (portfolio company of River Cities Capital Funds)

    Western Reserve acted as exclusive financial advisor to River Cities Capital Funds in the sale of its portfolio company, Galaxy Associates, Inc., to DuBois Chemicals, Inc., a portfolio company of The Riverside Company.

    Founded in 2002, Cincinnati, Ohio-based Galaxy Associates is a leading provider of specialty and performance-driven chemicals used in critical processes in the industrial, transportation and pulp and paper industries.  Products and services include coolants, lubricants and pretreatment chemicals used in metalworking and metal finishing; truck wash chemicals and truck washing systems; and deposit control and felt cleaning chemicals used in paper manufacturing.  River Cities Capital Funds, also based in Cincinnati, is one of the most active and experienced venture funds investing in the Midwest and Southeastern United States, with more than $400 million under management and over 75 investments over the past fourteen years.

    Leading the transaction for Western Reserve were Managing Director Joseph Carson and Director Charles Aquino, supported by Associate David Helsel and Analyst Alex Trouten.  On merging the entities, Mr. Aquino said, “Galaxy’s combination with DuBois represents a unique, synergistic fit that provides an outstanding result for Galaxy’s shareholders and a compelling growth platform for the company and its employees.  We are very excited for their combined futures.”

    Glen Mayfield, Managing Director and Co-Founder of River Cities Capital Funds, said of Western Reserve’s involvement, “Western Reserve provided excellent service and delivered significant value to Galaxy’s shareholders.  Their knowledge of our industry and attention to detail at every turn were essential to the success of this process.”

    Galaxy President Bill Oeters added, “I cannot thank Western Reserve enough for their help and support.  The entire team played a pivotal role in each phase of the process and worked diligently to ensure the best outcome for our various stakeholders.”

    . . .

    The testimonials presented are applicable to the individuals depicted and may not be representative of the experience of others.  The testimonials are not paid and are not indicative of future performance or success.

  • Osmose Holdings, Inc.

    Western Reserve served as the exclusive investment banker to Osmose Holdings, Inc. in its sale to funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management, L.P. Western Reserve also rendered a fairness opinion to the Board of Directors of Osmose in connection with the transaction.

    Founded in 1934 and based in Buffalo, New York, Osmose operates in three business segments:

    Wood Preservation — Manufacturer and marketer of wood preservation and treatment technology

    Utilities Services — Provider of pole maintenance, pole restoration, field survey services, engineering services and storm response

    Railroad Services — Provider of bridge services including construction, engineering, inspection, maintenance and repair

    Oaktree, headquartered in Los Angeles, California, is a leading global investment management firm focused on alternative markets, with $77.9 billion in assets under management as of March 31, 2012.

    James Spengler, President and Chief Executive Officer of Osmose, will continue to serve in the same capacity along with Osmose’s existing management team.  “Osmose has built very strong brand recognition and a solid reputation for innovative products and services, excellent customer service, best in class safety performance and good growth prospects across all its business segments which attracted Oaktree to seek a partnership with management to pursue strategic growth plans.  Oaktree can provide substantial additional resources and is committed to investing in Osmose to help us expand our product and service offerings and to better meet and exceed our customers’ expectations,” said Mr. Spengler.

    Ian Schapiro, Oaktree Managing Director, said, “We are delighted to have the opportunity to invest in Osmose and to provide the Company with additional resources and capabilities to expand its product and service offerings, invest in additional research and development, and deliver superior customer service. We look forward to working with Osmose’s world-class management team to continue to build on the Company’s success.”

    Leading the transaction for Western Reserve were Managing Directors Ralph Della Ratta and Joseph Carson, supported by Vice President Rebecca White, Associate David Helsel and Analysts Courtney Downs and Matthew Francati.

    “Osmose and Oaktree are leaders in their respective fields, and we are honored to have worked with such fine organizations,” said Mr. Della Ratta.  “We look forward to watching Osmose take its success to the next level with the help of a financial partner.”

    Of working with Western Reserve, Mr. Spengler said, “Western Reserve provided tremendous support and guidance throughout the transaction.  They had a nuanced understanding of the deal’s complexities and impartially advised Osmose’s Board each step of the way.  Our shareholders recognize the value that Western Reserve added and thank them for their unwavering dedication.”

    . . .

    The testimonials presented are applicable to the individuals depicted and may not be representative of the experience of others.  The testimonials are not paid and are not indicative of future performance or success.

  • Avtron Industrial Automation Inc. (portfolio company of Morgenthaler Private Equity)

    Western Reserve served as the exclusive investment banker to Avtron Industrial Automation Inc. (“AIA”), a portfolio company of Morgenthaler Private Equity (“Morgenthaler”), in its sale to Nidec Corporation (“Nidec”).  The transaction closed on September 28, 2012 and was led by Managing Director Joseph Carson and Vice President Matthew Mueller of the Industrial Group, supported by Associate Matthew Reus and Analyst Gregory Hill. Previously, Western Reserve represented Avtron in its original sale to Morgenthaler in 2007.

    Headquartered in Independence, Ohio, AIA is a leading provider of highly engineered control and automation solutions for heavy industries where operational uptime and throughput are critical to customers’ profitability.  The company’s encoder products, drive systems solutions and service offerings are key components for the precise control of the motion of heavy industrial equipment.  Applications include: oil and gas drilling rigs, port cranes and hoists, mining shovels and draglines, maritime vessel propulsion systems and continuous mill machinery such as steel rolling mills and paper machines.

    “We were delighted to represent AIA’s shareholders and to work with the management team on this transaction,” said Mr. Carson.  “With Morgenthaler’s backing, AIA has achieved a strong record of growth and developed a market leading position in industrial encoder products and drive system solutions.  The combination with Nidec represents a powerful partnership and is a great outcome for both companies.”

    Dennis Anderson, AIA’s President, stated, “Western Reserve’s strategic direction was critical for our management team in navigating the sale process, which resulted in the right strategic partner for us. We are excited to combine our deep engineering expertise and North American market presence with Nidec’s operations and global reach.”

    Of working with Western Reserve, Peter Taft, Partner at Morgenthaler Private Equity, said, “We are very pleased with the guidance Western Reserve provided us in executing this transaction.  Their expertise and dedication to consummating the transaction resulted in a very favorable outcome.”

    Morgenthaler is a leading private equity and venture capital firm with nearly $3 billion under management.  For over 40 years, the firm has dedicated to helping build value in more than 300 companies. With private equity locations in Cleveland, OH, and Boston, MA, Morgenthaler focuses on the lower-middle market with transaction values between $25 – $150 million and EBITDA in excess of $5 million. The private equity firm makes investments in profitable, family and entrepreneur businesses and corporate divestitures in two sectors: highly-engineered manufacturing and business services.

    Founded in 1973, Nidec is a manufacturer and distributor of electric motors and related components and equipment with headquarters in Kyoto, Japan.  The company provides discrete and variable speed motors and pumps, electronic motor controls and other electronic components. Nidec comprises over 160 consolidated and affiliated subsidiaries, with over 100 manufacturing and sales locations in 24 countries with more than 105,000 employees.

    . . .

    The testimonials presented are applicable to the individuals depicted and may not be representative of the experience of others.  The testimonials are not paid and are not indicative of future performance or success.

  • Grammer Industries, Inc.

    Western Reserve Partners served as the exclusive investment banker to Grammer Industries, Inc. in its recapitalization by Linx Partners, LLC.  The transaction was led by Managing Director Joseph Carson and Director Kevin White of Western Reserve’s Industrial Group, supported by Vice President Matthew Mueller and Associate Thomas Creegan.

    Grammer is a leading hauler of bulk hazardous and non-hazardous materials, known for its expertise in transporting anhydrous ammonia.  Headquartered in its namesake town of Grammer, Indiana, the company is regarded for its industry-leading safety record, top-quality fleet and superior customer service.  Grammer serves customers operating in industries such as agriculture, chemical manufacturing, energy production and fertilizer production.

    Mr. Carson said, “We are proud to represent Grammer’s shareholders and delighted that we were able bring the Linx and Grammer teams together in this transaction.”  Mr. White added, “With significant experience in the transportation and hauling industry, Linx will be a great partner for Grammer.  The partnership will undoubtedly allow Grammer to bolster its position of leadership in the industry.”

    Charles “Shorty” Whittington, Founder and CEO of Grammer, will continue to serve as the company’s CEO.  Mr. Whittington stated, “I am impressed with Linx’s knowledge of the industry and commitment to growing this business.  This company has a very bright future.”  Mr. Whittington remarked, “The leadership and advocacy of Western Reserve resulted in an optimal outcome for Grammer’s shareholders and management team.”

    Peter Hicks, Managing Director and Founder of Linx Partners, commented, “Linx Partners looks forward to building on the Company’s success and establishing Grammer as the leader in the domestic hauling of anhydrous ammonia and other bulk hazardous liquids.  We appreciate Western Reserve’s professionalism and dedication to executing this transaction.”

    . . .

    The testimonials presented are applicable to the individuals depicted and may not be representative of the experience of others.  The testimonials are not paid and are not indicative of future performance or success.

  • Tenere Inc. (portfolio company of Stonehenge Partners Inc.)

    Western Reserve Partners served as the exclusive investment banker to Tenere Inc., a portfolio company of Stonehenge Partners, Inc., in the sale of the business to The Watermill Group, a strategy-driven private investment firm based in Lexington, Massachusetts.  The transaction was led by Managing Director Joseph Carson and Vice President Rebecca White of the Industrial Group, supported by Analyst Christopher Santagate.

    Headquartered in Dresser, Wisconsin, Tenere is a full-service designer and fabricator of complex metal and plastic components and assemblies.  Tenere fabricates sheet metal, injection molded products and machined products, as well as providing integration and system-level assembly services for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) in the network communications, enterprise software, agriculture, medical and aerospace industries.

    “We enjoyed representing Tenere’s shareholders and working with the management team through this process,” said Ms. White.  “As a result of Stonehenge’s longstanding partnership, Tenere was well-positioned with strong leadership, state-of-the-art facilities and excellent customer relationships.  Watermill’s strategic insight and management expertise will make for a very valuable partnership going forward.”

    “I believe Tenere’s potential is limitless,” said Jon Fisk, Tenere’s chief operations officer. “We’re approaching a critical phase in the growth of our company, and Watermill is the right partner to help us expand and scale to the needs of our customers.”

    Of working with Western Reserve, Stephen Kimpel, Principal at Stonehenge, said, “We appreciate the expertise and dedication that the Western Reserve team put into this process to ensure a successful outcome for our shareholder group and provide an ideal partner for Tenere’s management team and employees.”

    Stonehenge Partners, based in Columbus, Ohio, manages $700 million in committed mezzanine debt and equity capital and is currently investing from a $250 million fund.  Stonehenge targets investments of $5 million to $25 million with a focus on companies with strong market positions in Niche Manufacturing, Value-Add Distribution, Business Services, and Healthcare.

    The Watermill Group is a strategy-driven private investment firm that revitalizes companies to reach their full potential. For more than three decades, Watermill has been acquiring, operating and improving companies. Watermill looks for businesses at a crossroads and applies a unique combination of strategic insight and management expertise to re- imagine their future and drive growth.

    . . .

    The testimonials presented are applicable to the individuals depicted and may not be representative of the experience of others.  The testimonials are not paid and are not indicative of future performance or success.

  • R. Thompson Trucking, Inc. (portfolio company of Linx Partners LLC)

    Western Reserve Partners served as the exclusive financial advisor to R. Thompson Trucking, Inc., a portfolio company of Linx Partners, LLC, in its sale to RLJ Equity Partners, LLC. The transaction closed on December 31, 2012 and was led by Managing Partner Ralph Della Ratta, Director Kevin White and Vice President Matthew Mueller of Western Reserve’s Industrial Group, who were supported by Associate Thomas Creegan and Analyst Gregory Hill.

    Thompson Trucking is a top provider of industrial logistics solutions, serving both commercial and governmental customers in the Mid-Atlantic region. With its market-leading fleet, the Company hauls a wide range of commodities, including aggregates, scrap metal and non-hazardous waste for customers in industries such as construction, industrial recycling and waste collection and disposal.

    “We are proud to have represented Thompson’s shareholders in this transaction. With its familiarity with the Mid-Atlantic market and track record of operating successful businesses, RLJ Equity Partners is an excellent partner for the company,” Mr. Della Ratta stated.

    Mr. White, who leads Western Reserve’s transportation and logistics practice, remarked, “Thompson’s diverse, flexible fleet and outstanding customer service are unrivaled by those in its peer group. Western Reserve welcomed the opportunity to represent such a market leader.”

    The company’s existing management team, including President and CEO Richard Thompson, all will continue to serve in their current capacities. Mr. Thompson reflected, “I appreciate Linx’s stewardship in helping to grow this company, and I am excited to team with RLJ to expand our presence in the Mid-Atlantic region and along the East Coast. I am grateful for Western Reserve’s leadership and role in executing this transaction.”

    Edward Leinss, Managing Director and Founder of Linx Partners, stated, “Linx Partners is pleased to realize another successful investment for the firm. Linx greatly values its relationship with Western Reserve and is particularly satisfied with the results achieved in this transaction.”

    . . .

    The testimonials presented are applicable to the individuals depicted and may not be representative of the experience of others.  The testimonials are not paid and are not indicative of future performance or success.

  • The SpyGlass Group, Inc.

    Western Reserve Partners served as the exclusive investment banker to The SpyGlass Group, Inc. in its recapitalization by an investor group led by Crane Investment Company.  The transaction was led by Managing Director David Dunstan, Director Charles Aquino and Vice President Andrew Male of the firm’s Business Services and Consumer group, who were supported by Analyst Courtney Downs.

    SpyGlass is a leading provider of niche telecommunications expense management services.  Headquartered in Westlake, Ohio, the Company’s services include audit and implementation of telecom expense savings opportunities such as recovery of funds paid in error, elimination of unnecessary services and improvement of provider cost structures.  SpyGlass serves a diverse range of customers, including private sector businesses of all sizes, government agencies, educational institutions and healthcare facilities.

    Co-Chief Executive Officers Bradley Clark and Edward DeAngelo will remain significant shareholders in the company and continue to serve in the same capacity along with the existing management team.  “Our team is thrilled to be partnering with Crane Investment Company as we continue to invest in the business and execute our long term growth strategy,” said Mr. DeAngelo.

    “It was a pleasure to represent SpyGlass on this transaction,” said Mr. Dunstan.  “SpyGlass is well positioned for continued growth given its unique sales model, compelling value proposition and proven ability to penetrate new markets.”

    Mr. Clark said, “Western Reserve’s assistance and advice were critical in finding the right partner and navigating through the process.  Their team’s expertise, responsiveness, perseverance and creativity allowed us to achieve a very favorable outcome for the company, our employees and our customers.”

    . . .

    The testimonials presented are applicable to the individuals depicted and may not be representative of the experience of others.  The testimonials are not paid and are not indicative of future performance or success.

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