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Axcel teams up with family behind world-leading producer of accessories for pick-up trucks

Axcel is partnering with the owners of Danish company Mountain Top Industries, one of the world’s leading producers of pick-up accessories. The company has grown rapidly in recent years and has brought Axcel on board to support its continued expansion and entry into new markets. Mountain Top is currently owned by Marie-Louise and Lars Bjerg, who will remain both shareholders and board members.

Mountain Top Industries has been producing accessories for pick-up trucks since 1978 and has evolved in close association with its customers, which include leading pick-up producers such as Ford, Nissan, Renault, VW, Mercedes-Benz and Toyota.

Almost 170 employees work in design, development and production at Mountain Top’s facilities in Frederikssund, Denmark. The company’s main market is currently Europe, where it is the market leader, but there is also potential for global expansion:

“After several years of rapid growth, the next step in our journey is to expand both sales and production in a number of new markets, which we believe can best be achieved in partnership with Axcel,” says CEO Marie-Louise Bjerg. “We moved into Australia in 2014, but we also see considerable potential in markets such as the US, which is more than 20 times the size of the European market. We look forward to taking Mountain Top to the next level together with Axcel with all its experience of international expansion.”

Mountain Top’s move into the global market has led to a doubling of sales outside Europe in the past four years to 20% of total turnover.

“We’ve come a long way under family ownership since the business was founded in 1951, so it was a big decision to sell,” says Lars Bjerg. “But after lengthy deliberation and dialogue, we feel sure that Axcel can help take Mountain Top Industries forward.”

The pick-up truck market in Europe, Asia-Pacific and North America has a long track record of stable growth, so Axcel sees good opportunities for continued expansion:

“Through a focus on product development, quality and service, Marie-Louise and Lars Bjerg have built a business with a wide range of good products and high customer satisfaction,” says Christoffer Müller, the officer responsible for the investment at Axcel. “In addition, Mountain Top has achieved a high degree of efficiency in all processes, so our future focus will be on generating growth in both established and new markets, including the US, where 3 million pick-up trucks are sold every year.”

Mountain Top is the second investment for Axcel’s fifth fund, Axcel V. The transaction is subject to approval from the competition authorities.

Dunedin Completes Third Exit in Three Months with Kee Safety

 

We are delighted to announce the sale of Kee Safety, a global supplier of safety solutions and products designed to protect people from hazards, to Investcorp. The transaction values the company at £280m and provides a full exit for Dunedin Buyout Fund III, which has made a return of 3x money invested and an IRR of 35%.

This exit maintains our current high levels of activity, coming quickly on the heels of the successful IPO of Alpha Financial Markets and soon after the sale of Blackrock Expert Services. As a result, we have been able to generate a total return of £230m for our investors within three months.

Kee Safety exemplifies Dunedin’s ability to find niche UK businesses and help them to compete on a global stage. Since Dunedin acquired Kee Safety in 2013, the company has made twelve acquisitions and has increased its geographic footprint via further expansion into Europe, North America, Asia and the Middle East. Revenues have more than doubled since 2013 to a current level of £78m.

Nicol Fraser, Partner of Dunedin commented: “Kee Safety is a fantastic business that has achieved very significant growth. International expansion and an active acquisition strategy have been important parts of that growth story and it is to the great credit of the management team that so much has been achieved over the last four years.  There is a long runway in front of Kee Safety in terms of further growth potential, particularly as the business expands its international presence and we wish the team the very best for the exciting future that lies ahead.”

Chris Milburn, Chairman of Kee Safety commented: “Dunedin has been a highly supportive investor and partner over the last four years. As a management team, we knew what we wanted to achieve and we looked for an investor who would really take the time to understand those objectives and go the extra mile in supporting us to meet them. That has very much proved to be the case, as the growth of the business shows; and we now look forward to embarking on our next stage of development.”

NiXEN SIGNED AN AGREEMENT FOR THE SALE OF A MAJORITY STAKE IN BABEAU-SEGUIN GROUP

Paris, 30th October 2017 – NiXEN and Ardian announce the signing, with the management team and the other historical financial investors of Babeau-Seguin, of an agreement for the acquisition by Ardian of a majority stake in the group, the third builder of single-family detached houses in France.
NiXEN acquired a majority stake in the group in December 2011 alongside its founder and President Bruno Babeau, as well as its management team and its financial co-investors, including Pechel Industries and the other historical investors.

During the last years, NiXEN has supported the growth strategy implemented by Bruno Babeau and his teams. Since 2010, the Babeau-Seguin Group’s turnover has almost doubled and is expected to reach more than €180m in 2017. With ten renowned brands, including the Maisons Babeau-Seguin brand, the Group offers a range of over 200 homes.
Bruno Babeau, President of the Babeau-Seguin Group, said: “The Babeau-Seguin Group has benefitted from the knowledge and know-how of NiXEN in terms of strategy. We now rely on Ardian’s investment to allow us to continue our strategy of geographic development, through internal and external growth, with a single goal: using our size to provide our clients with unbeatable value for money.”

“With Bruno Babeau we have successfully led an active strategy of organic growth, with the opening of more than 15 new agencies and investment in five construction build-ups, which has allowed us to create better links across the territory as well as accelerate the group’s digital progress ”, added Pierre Rispoli, Managing Director of NiXEN Partners.

Alexis Lavaillote, Managing Director at Ardian Expansion, said: “We are well versed in the sector having invested in another regional player several years ago. We are pleased to be working with the Babeau-Seguin Group and would like to thank Bruno Babeau and his team for their trust. The market for the construction of single-family houses is very fragmented and we will continue to support the external growth strategy of the management team, among other things.”

Wincove and Stone-Goff Lead Recapitalization of Centerline Communications and TowerNorth Development

Boston, MA – August 18, 2017 – Wincove Private Holdings, LP (“Wincove”) and Stone-Goff Partners (“Stone-Goff”) announced today that they have invested in affiliated companies, Centerline Communications, LLC (“Centerline”) and TowerNorth Development, LLC (“TowerNorth” and together with Centerline, “the Company”).

Headquartered in Raynham, MA, Centerline provides turnkey wireless telecommunications infrastructure services to carriers, equipment suppliers, and tower operators.  Services include project management and real estate services, outsourced maintenance services for HVAC and generator units at wireless sites, and general construction services including installation and equipment modification.  Centerline provides services across the U.S., with a particularly strong presence in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic markets.  TowerNorth Development, an affiliated entity, is a telecommunications tower development company.

“We are excited to partner with Josh Delman, who will continue in his leadership as CEO and remain a large owner of the Company,” said Michael McGovern, Partner of Wincove.  “The Wincove, Stone-Goff and Centerline principals all have a longstanding relationship with each other spanning many years, and we are excited to consummate this business partnership.  Centerline is recognized by its customers for its ability to deliver turnkey, high value-added services, and we believe there is great opportunity to continue to build out the complimentary TowerNorth business.”

“Josh Delman has built an impressive platform in the telecommunications services industry, and we look forward to partnering with him and his team,” said Laurens Goff, Managing Partner of Stone-Goff.  “We are thrilled about the opportunity to support Josh in the continued growth of Centerline and TowerNorth.”

Josh Delman, CEO of Centerline stated, “Centerline is excited to partner with Wincove and Stone-Goff as we take the next step toward growing our Company’s reach.  We are confident that Wincove’s and Stone-Goff’s experience and track record of building businesses will help fuel our continued growth.”  For more information about the Company, please visit www.centerlinecommunications.com.

Wincove Invests in Rhino Assembly

Boston, MA – August 11, 2017 – Wincove Private Holdings, LP (“Wincove”) announced today that it has recently invested in Rhino Assembly Company, LLC (“Rhino” or the “Company”).

Headquartered in Concord, NC, Rhino is a value-added distributor of high-performance assembly tools and material handling equipment used in heavy manufacturing. The company’s assembly tool products include tightening devices, torque measurement tools, power tools and calibration equipment. Its material handling products include ergonomic arms, lift tables and cranes. Rhino’s mission is to identify and deliver the most innovative assembly solutions to its customers, focusing on improving quality, safety, ergonomics and productivity.

“Rhino has an impressive 17-year history of organic growth and is recognized for delivering innovative products and value-added services,” said Michael McGovern, partner of Wincove. “We are very proud to be partnering with Dan Brooks and Leif Anderson, who will continue in their leadership, and remain substantial owners, of Rhino. Together we will continue to expand the Company’s product offering to capture share and drive organic growth, while opportunistically pursuing complimentary acquisitions.”

Dan Brooks, President of Rhino stated, “Rhino is very excited to partner with Wincove for the next phase of our Company’s growth. Wincove’s experience and successful track record investing in and growing industrial distribution companies, combined with their long-term approach, were highly attractive to our Company as we explored a partnership.” For more information about Rhino, please visit www.rhinoassembly.com.

Dunedin Exits Blackrock PM After Tripling Sales

 

Dunedin exits Blackrock PM after tripling of sales

We are delighted to announce the sale of Blackrock PM, an award winning professional services firm that provides construction consulting and expert witness services for large, international construction and engineering projects.

The business has been sold in a secondary buyout to its management team and ICG. With an enterprise value of £161.5m, the sale generated a 2.8x return for Dunedin investors, and represents a 60% IRR.

Blackrock PM’s founder, David Barry, said: “During our partnership with Dunedin, we have transformed the company from a boutique consulting practice that was reliant on a small number of experts to a forensic consulting business with real critical mass, capable of handling the largest and most complex projects across the globe. Blackrock now has 23 expert witnesses as well as a large and highly skilled team of support professionals."

Dunedin invested in London-headquartered Blackrock PM at the end of March 2015. In the past two years, revenue has tripled from £9m in 2014 to £26m for the financial year ending October 2016.

International sales growth has been a major feature of Blackrock PM’s expansion, capitalising on a global construction market that is valued at $8.5tn. Having established an office in Dubai and opened up new markets in the Middle East, Africa, Europe and Asia, the company increased its international sales by 221% during Dunedin’s investment period.

In recognition of its outstanding growth in overseas sales, Blackrock PM received The Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the “International Trade Category” in 2017 and was also ranked at No. 36 in the eighth annual Sunday Times HSBC International Track 200 this year. 

Blackrock PM is currently advising on international construction disputes valued at around £125bn and past projects include the Shard in London and the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. 

Simon Rowan, Partner at Dunedin, said: “The key to Blackrock PM’s exceptional growth over the last two years has been its commitment to developing genuine world class expertise. It is a great example of a business successfully exporting first rate professional services to overseas markets. It has been an absolute pleasure to work in partnership with such a talented team, from the Board all the way through the organisation. The professionalism, energy and culture at Blackrock sets it apart from the competition and will ensure it remains on course for future success. We wish the team the very best as they embark on the next chapter of their growth story.”

This is Dunedin’s second exit this year, following the sale of Steeper in February 2017. The exit also maintains the momentum behind Dunedin’s growing professional services portfolio, coming just four months after it backed Forensic Risk Alliance, its third investment in the high value consulting space.

 

Silver Oak Services Partners Leads Recapitalization of Redwood Dental

Silver Oak Services Partners, LLC (“Silver Oak”), a lower middle market private equity firm focused exclusively on service businesses, announced it has led the recapitalization of Redwood Dental (“Redwood”) in partnership with management and co-investors.  In conjunction with the recapitalization, Redwood completed the add-on acquisitions of Signature Smiles, Affordable Dental Care, and Holly Dental Care (collectively, the practices are referred to as the “Company”).

Founded in 1982, Redwood is a leading provider of general and specialty dentistry services in Detroit, MI, operating eight locations throughout the Detroit metropolitan area.  The acquisitions of Signature Smiles and Affordable Dental Care add two additional dental practices operating out of single location to Redwood’s platform, and the acquisition of Holly Dental Care adds a tenth location.

“We are proud to announce our growth investment from Silver Oak, as well as the addition of three dental practices to our platform.  We believe our partnership with Silver Oak will significantly enhance our growth trajectory going forward,” said Dr. Mark Bouchillon, President of Redwood.  Dr. Bouchillon will remain a part of the executive team at Redwood, and Dr. Jeff Solomon, previous CEO of Signature Smiles and Affordable Dental Care, will become CEO of the Company.

“We are excited about our partnership with Silver Oak.  Silver Oak’s experience in growing center-based healthcare services businesses made them ideal partners for us, and they bring the additional capital resources and expertise we need to significantly grow the Company,” said Dr. Jeff Solomon.  The Redwood management team will retain significant ownership stakes in the business.

Silver Oak was attracted to dental services as a compelling sector for investment due to the recession-resistant nature of the sector, high fragmentation of the industry, low level of capital intensity and the availability of acquisition targets at reasonable multiples. Dan Gill, Managing Partner at Silver Oak, said, “We are excited to partner with Dr. Bouchillon, Dr. Solomon and the rest of the team at Redwood.  Redwood is well-known in the industry for its high-quality patient care, and we believe Redwood has developed a best-in-class platform from which to grow.”  Redwood is actively looking for add-on acquisition opportunities.

Tranzonic, A Portfolio Company of Silver Oak Services Partners, Completes Add-on Acquisition

The Tranzonic Companies (“Tranzonic” or the “Company”), a portfolio company of Silver Oak Services Partners, LLC, announced today that it has acquired ERC Wiping Products, Inc. (“ERC”).  Headquartered in Lynn, MA, ERC is a leading processor and distributor of wiping cloths, towels and wipes to customers operating across a broad spectrum of industries in the U.S.

“ERC has been a premier supplier to its customers for over 95 years, and it was important for us to find a partner with the same level of commitment to quality and service that has allowed us to be successful over our history. We believe we have found that partner in Tranzonic,” stated Larry Groipen, President of ERC.

“We are thrilled to have ERC join the Tranzonic family. Larry and his team have built a strong business with a reputation for offering a wide array of high quality products, timely and efficient delivery, and consistent customer satisfaction, and we look forward to continuing that same level of service post-transaction,” said Tom Friedl, Chief Executive Officer of Tranzonic. “Additionally, ERC’s distribution capabilities in the Northeast U.S. will enable us to provide greater value and more expeditious service to our customers across the country.”

Overview of Tranzonic

Headquartered in Cleveland, OH, Tranzonic is a leading supplier of disposable maintenance, cleaning, personal care and safety products to the “away-from-home” marketplace.  The Company supplies a variety of disposable sanitary and safety supplies including gloves, industrial wipers, toilet seat covers, feminine hygiene products, air care products, restroom supplies, sorbents and other safety products used by customers in janitorial / office supply, healthcare, dentistry, automotive, foodservice, industrial, safety and a range of other end markets. The Company has a differentiated business model with proprietary brands and global sourcing capabilities and is well-diversified across suppliers, customers and end markets.

Please contact Tom Friedl of Tranzonic or Greg Barr or Andrew James of Silver Oak for additional information.

Silver Oak invests in business, consumer and healthcare services companies in the lower middle market, typically with EBITDA of $4 million to $20 million.

Silver Oak Services Partners, LLC 
1560 Sherman Ave, Suite 1200
Evanston, IL 60201
Phone: 847-332-0400
www.silveroaksp.com

Silver Oak Services Partners Completes Sale of iSystems

 

Evanston, IL – May 31, 2017

Silver Oak Services Partners, LLC (“Silver Oak”), a leading lower-middle market private equity firm focused exclusively on business, healthcare and consumer services companies, announced that it has completed the sale of iSystems Intermediate HoldCo, LLC (“iSystems” or the “Company”) to Asure Software (NASDAQ:ASUR) (“Asure”), a leading provider of Human Capital Management (HCM) and Digital Workplace software.

Asure, headquartered in Austin, Texas, offers intuitive and innovative technologies that enable companies of all sizes and complexities to operate more efficiently.  Asure services over 7,500 clients with its suite of solutions, ranging from HCM workforce management solutions and time and attendance, to workspace asset optimization and meeting room management solutions.

“We are continuing to compete in a much larger market. With the acquisition of iSystems, our strategy of partnering with the customer base of service bureau organizations and helping them grow continues,” said Asure Software CEO Pat Goepel.  “By scaling with Asure we will be able to offer the iSystems client base an exceptional experience, with an innovative approach to human capital management. We see this acquisition accretive to our overall P&L.”

Silver Oak made its original investment in iSystems in May 2014.  During Silver Oak’s ownership, iSystems completed 2 acquisitions, professionalized the management and reporting processes, upgraded the sales and marketing talent, grew both its licensee and end user base, and launched several new payroll, tax and HR management software products and upgrades.

“We are extremely excited to align iSystems and the Evolution product suite and platform tools with the Asure family of innovative workplace and HCM solutions,” stated Dan Gill, Chairman of the Board for iSystems, LLC. “The combination of our two companies will provide substantial benefits to the Evolution licensee base and create a stronger competitor in the HCM space. We are excited to become a major shareholder of Asure Software.”

The acquisition of iSystems supports Asure’s strategy for continued growth in HCM and Workplace management.  Together both companies will meet growing client demands and change the dynamic of how people are managed not only today, but into the future.

The aggregate consideration transaction was $55 million, which includes $32 million in cash, $18 million of Asure Software unregistered common stock, and a $5 million seller note. In connection with the consummation of the acquisition of iSystems, Asure has agreed to appoint Dan Gill, Founder and Co-Managing Director of Silver Oak Services Partners and the majority owner of iSystems, to the Asure board of directors, effective June 6, 2017.

Kirkland & Ellis LLP acted as legal counsel to the sellers.

About iSystems
iSystems is the company behind Evolution, which provides accuracy, productivity, and financial control within one single-source, end-to-end HCM solution. iSystems values and understands the importance of innovation and perseverance to provide its service provider clients with a secure, scalable and reliable technology. The company maintains a high level of product and technical support, provides ongoing training programs, offers marketing and sales support, and ensures a high level of commitment to the research and development of new products and services. The Evolution HCM software was recognized by CIO Review in 2016 and its independent board of advisors as one of the 20 Most Promising HR Technology Solution Providers in the country.

About Asure
Asure, headquartered in Austin, Texas, offers intuitive and innovative technologies that enable companies of all sizes and complexities to operate more efficiently, building companies of the future. Their cloud platform has helped more than 7,500 clients worldwide to better manage their people and space for a mobile, digital, multi-generational, and global organization. Asure’s suite of solutions ranges from HCM workforce management solutions and time and attendance, to workspace asset optimization and meeting room management solutions. For more information, please visit www.asuresoftware.com.

 

Finatem sells Bärbel Drexel to the Belgian healthcare investor Damier Group

Finatem, a leading, independent investment firm with a focus on SMEs in German speaking countries, has sold its portfolio company Bärbel Drexel GmbH („Bärbel Drexel“), Baar, Germany, to the Belgium based healthcare Investor Damier N.V. („Damier“), Kortrijk, Belgium.

Based on its longtime experience and competence in the field of naturopathy, Bärbel Drexel develops, produces and distributes nutritional supplements and natural cosmetics with the highest therapeutically effectiveness. The company utilises solely natural ingredients for its products of highest quality – produced and developed in its own manufactory in Baar. Its creative R&D department enables Bärbel Drexel continuously to successfully position innovative new products in the market based on scientific knowledge, like algae based nutritional supplements (such as Astaxanthin and Spirulina). It places trust and transparency as a basis for high customer satisfaction and loyalty in the center of its activities. The products are marketed directly via the sales channels mail-order, online and teleshopping. In the last few years the company succeeded to significantly grow in particular in online- and mail-order business. In 2016 the company employed 80 people and realised sales to customers of EUR 36 million. 

Damier, a privately owned Belgian investment company, primarily focuses on targets in Europe active in branded consumer fields and more specifically in the consumer healthcare sector. 

The parties agreed not to reveal the transaction details. 

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