High Road Capital acquires General Tools & Instruments

High Road Capital Partners has acquired New York-based General Tools & Instruments — the third platform investment from Highland’s second fund. General Tools designs specialty hand tools and handheld test instruments for consumers and professionals.

Press Release

High Road Capital Partners (www.highroadcap.com) has completed the acquisition of New York-based General Tools & Instruments, LLC (www.generaltools.com), marking High Road Capital Partners Fund II’s third platform acquisition. Founded in 1922, General Tools & Instruments is a leading designer and developer of precision specialty hand tools and handheld test instruments for consumers and professionals.
General Tools & Instruments’ products are available in big-box and specialty retailers including Home Depot, Lowe’s, Sears, Ace Hardware and True Value Hardware stores, and through industrial distributors such as Grainger, MSC Industrial Supply and McMaster-Carr.

“General Tools & Instruments has a solid position as a leading provider of specialty hand tools and instruments across multiple industries, with a product portfolio of more than 1,500 SKUs,” said Jeff Goodrich, High Road Partner. “Its strengths include an exceptional product development capability through which the company introduces new and innovative tools annually and provides professional-grade products to consumer markets.”

Mr. Goodrich added, “General Tools & Instruments is a third-generation, family-run company with an enviable customer base, a trusted brand name and high-quality products. Together with General’s outstanding management team, we plan to pursue both organic growth initiatives and add-on acquisitions.”

Joe Ennis, Chief Executive Officer of General Tools & Instruments, said, “General remains focused on providing its customers with feature-rich, value-oriented specialty hand tools and test instruments. We look forward to working with High Road and continuing the company’s successful expansion.” Mr. Ennis will continue to lead the company post-closing. He and the other members of General’s management team invested in the transaction alongside High Road.

High Road’s acquisition of General Tools & Instruments closed on February 5, 2014. Jeff Goodrich, Partner and Dan Gaspar, Principal led the transaction for High Road. Also working on the transaction from High Road were Jerry Anderson, Partner, and Eugene Kolodin, Associate. U.S. Bank provided senior debt financing for the transaction. Babson Capital Management provided subordinated debt and also invested equity alongside High Road. Cowen and Company advised the seller. Transaction consideration was not disclosed.

High Road has completed 29 transactions, comprising 27 acquisitions – 12 platform investments, 15 add-on acquisitions – and two exits since its founding in 2007.

For further information, please contact Jeff Goodrich, High Road Partner, at (212) 554-3268.

High Road Capital Partners
High Road Capital Partners is a private equity firm focused on smaller middle market transactions. High Road was formed in 2007 and currently manages over $470 million of committed capital. High Road focuses on niche-leading companies with revenues of $10 million to $100 million and EBITDA of $3 million to $10 million. Once acquired, High Road works in partnership with management to take the companies to the next level through a combination of organic growth initiatives and add-on acquisitions. More information on High Road may be found on its website, www.highroadcap.com.

General Tools & Instruments Company LLC
General Tools & Instruments, founded in 1922, is a leading designer and developer of precision specialty hand tools and handheld test instruments. The company offers a broad product portfolio of professional and consumer items used across multiple end markets, serving hobbyists and DIY enthusiasts as well as professionals. More information on General Tools & Instruments may be found on its website, www.generaltools.com.

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