Frontenac Company said Thursday that it has completed a recapitalization of Ohio Transmission Corp. No financial terms were disclosed. As part of the transaction, current shareholders and management will retain “significant” ownership stakes in Ohio Transmission. Also, the management team, which is led by CEO Phil Derrow, will continue in their roles. In addition to the news about the recapitalization, Bob Grubbs, the former CEO of Anixter International, has joined Ohio Transmission’s board. Headquartered in Columbus, OH, Ohio Transmission is a distributor of industrial equipment.
CHICAGO, July 25, 2013 – Frontenac Company, a middle-market private equity firm, today announced that the completion of a recapitalization of Ohio Transmission Corporation, a leading distributor of industrial equipment and provider of related repair services. Terms of the private investment were not disclosed.
Current shareholders and management will retain significant equity ownership positions, and the existing management team, led by CEO Phil Derrow, will continue to manage the day-to-dayoperations of the business.
Founded in 1963, Ohio Transmission is a family and employee-owned business with 18 facilities across the Midwest, that distributes a broad portfolio of industrial products to more than 13,000 total customers in a variety of industrial and commercial end markets. The company’s principal product offerings include pumps, bearings, power transmission equipment and fluid power solutions, as well as compressed air products (compressors and ancillary products), and related services.
“We believe the products and the services Ohio Transmission provides to its customers and suppliers set it apart in the industry, and have driven impressive growth in the company’s 50 year history,” said Ron Kuehl, Principal at Frontenac Company. “We look forward to working with Phil and the leadership team as we invest in the business to grow and further enhance service to customers.”
Based in Chicago and founded in 1971, Frontenac Company is a middle-market private equity firm with a long and successful history as the first professional owners of privately held, family and operator-owned businesses. This is Frontenac’s second investment in its newly formed tenth investment fund. The first investment, announced in January 2013, was a majority recapitalization of Portfolio Group, a leading provider of financial services to automobile dealerships, also a founder-owned business. Frontenac has made over 225 founder-owner investments across nine private equity funds. Since 2000, 24 of Frontenac’s 26 buyout investments have been acquisitions from and in partnership with founders.
“Our partnership with Frontenac Company will give Ohio Transmission the additional resources and capabilities to continue to grow our business by delivering and continually improving the value we provide to our customers, our suppliers, and our associates,” said Derrow. “We have found the perfect partner in Frontenac, which has a history of providing solutions to familyowned businesses, a strategy of working with seasoned executives, and a track record of successfully growing enterprises like ours.”
Ohio Transmission also announced that Bob Grubbs, a 30 year industrial distribution veteran, has joined the Board of Directors. Grubbs is the former CEO of Anixter International, a leading global supplier of communications and security products, where he was CEO for 14 years before retiring in 2008 and he remains a member of the board of directors. “I am thrilled with this exciting opportunity to work with the Ohio Transmission team to help accelerate growth and find ways to help customers and suppliers build their businesses,” said Grubbs. “Frontenac has a strong distribution franchise and reputation in the private equity industry.” He is also a director of Schneider National, a $3.5 billion trucking and logistics company.
About Frontenac Company (www.frontanac.com)
Frontenac Company, based in Chicago, IL and founded in 1971, is a private equity firm with a long and successful history of investing in privately held, operator-owned businesses. The firm works with proven executives to grow successful mid-sized companies. This approach is built upon partnering with strong incumbent management team and complementing the current team with outside talent that has outstanding industry knowledge and a strong performance record.
About Ohio Transmission Corporation (www.otpnet.com) (www.aircompressors.com)
With 18 facilities located primarily in the Midwest and its headquarters located in Columbus, OH, Ohio Transmission Corporation distributes a broad portfolio of industrial products to a diverse group of more than 13,000 end customers. Ohio Transmission is organized by product category into two business units, OTP Industrial Solutions and Air Technologies. OTP Industrial Solutions’ principal product offerings include pumps, bearings, power transmission equipment and fluid power solutions, and Air Technologies specializes in compressed air products (compressors and ancillary products), and services.