Branford buys SPT

Branford Castle Partners LP has acquired Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania-based Surface Preparation Technologies LLC, a provider of rumble strips and related roadway safety services. No financial terms were disclosed.


New York, February 27, 2017 – Branford Castle Partners, LP, a New York private equity firm, today announced its investment Fund has purchased Surface Preparation Technologies, LLC (“SPT”), the nation’s leading provider of rumble strips and related roadway safety services. The transaction follows Branford’s recent acquisition of Earthlite Massage Tables, the world’s No. 1 brand of products for the spa, massage and wellness industries. The Fund had its final capital closing in late October 2016.

“With this second deal, we are moving efficiently to deploy our investors’ capital, and we are working hard to close additional acquisitions in the near future,” said John S. Castle, Managing Partner of Branford Castle. “As was the case with Earthlite, SPT’s management team invested in the transaction alongside the Branford Castle Fund and will continue to lead the company.”

Steve Burke, CEO of SPT, said, “Rumble strips are vital highway and roadway safety features that alert inattentive drivers of potential danger, and are a proven and cost-efficient measure to keep travelers safer by reducing the risks of crossover and run-off traffic accidents.”

Based in Mechanicsburg, PA, SPT became the leader of its market with a unique combination of expertise in roadway infrastructure and its extensive fleet of proprietary equipment. SPT designs and manufactures its high-performance, patented rumble-strip machines, or “mills.” SPT’s mills run significantly faster and are more durable than competitors’ machines.

The Company, founded in 1988, is considered a pioneer in the roadway safety industry and has installed more than 150,000 miles of rumble strips across 49 states. The ultimate customer for SPT’s services is typically a state’s Department of Transportation.

“SPT has established itself as the national leader in the rumble-strip market, with a reputation among its customers for outstanding service and reliability,” said Eric Korsten, Managing Director. “We are especially excited to work on this investment with Abacus Finance Group, which is providing senior debt financing, and Brookside Mezzanine Partners, which is providing mezzanine debt financing. Of particular note, both of our lender partners have also made equity co-investments in the transaction.”

“We are delighted about the opportunity to partner with CEO Steve Burke and his experienced management team to help them continue to build the company,” said Laurence Lederer, Managing Director. “SPT is exceptionally well positioned to continue to achieve strong organic growth and to benefit from increasing levels of infrastructure spending in the United States.”

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. For more information, see and

At Earthlite, CEO Jim Chenevey said the company’s performance has been strong since joining the Branford portfolio. The company offers over 300 active SKUs of massage tables, alternative beauty and wellness equipment, supplies and accessories, oils and creams, manicure and pedicure equipment and medical exam equipment. Earthlite serves a diverse customer base of more than 3,700 customers in over 120 countries.

Headquartered in Vista, CA, Earthlite’s most prominent products are its massage tables, which have 20 percent global market share. The company has a family of six proprietary brands of massage tables that are among the longest-standing and most-respected in the market, including Living Earth Crafts, Stronglite, Earthlite and Inner Strength.

About Branford Castle Partners/The Branford Castle Fund
Led by John S. Castle and David Castle, Branford Castle is a newly formed lower-middle-market investment fund. Between 1986 and 2016, Branford operated as an award-winning family office.

Due to significant investment successes, Branford recently raised its first fund open to outside investors.

With each new investment, Branford builds on its 30+ year history of helping to grow businesses. The firm typically makes control investments in companies with less than $15 million of EBITDA and a leadership position in a niche industry. Branford is particularly keen on the strong relationships it develops with its portfolio company managers, two of which have recently generated 30-45x returns on their overall investment during the Branford ownership period.

Branford has particular expertise in consumer products and services, commercial distribution, business services and logistics. Branford also brings the expertise from its affiliation with the management at the leading middle-market investment firm, Castle Harlan.