J.W. Childs Buys Refrigerator Manufacturers Inc.

J.W. Childs has acquired Refrigerator Manufacturers Inc., a Santa Fe Springs, Calif.-based provider of large cooler and freezer rooms for major U.S. entertainment destination facilities. No financial terms were disclosed for the deal, which was a restructuring prompted by RMI’s former parent sought creditor protection.



Refrigerator Manufacturers, Inc. (“RMI”) today announced completion of its financial restructuring and its intention to aggressively pursue an increased share of the $350 million North American market for custom-designed and manufactured walk-in cooler and freezer rooms. In recent years RMI has been a leading supplier of large cooler and freezer rooms for major U.S. entertainment destination facilities such as hotels, casinos, theme parks and restaurants as well as public sector facilities including prisons, schools, hospitals and military bases.


RMI Interim President Doug Gibbs disclosed that J.W. Childs, a Boston-based private equity firm, has provided the funding to restructure the company after its former parent sought creditor protection. J.W. Childs is now the company’s sole shareholder.


“For 63 years RMI has been a highly regarded manufacturer of high-end, specialty walk-in cooler rooms and doors,” said Gibbs. “This restructuring ensures not only the continuation of RMI’s operations but provides us with the financial and relationship resources to more aggressively pursue an increased share of business in our traditional sectors. As well, we are now in a position to expand our product range by price points and to pursue sales of in other sectors such as pharmaceutical manufacturing and specialized research facilities.”


Earlier this year RMI relocated to a new 80,000 sq. ft. manufacturing facility to incorporate dozens of new production machines and a custom-made 140 foot long panel press. “This enlarged capacity gives RMI the ability to make walk-in walls of almost any height and also enables us to deliver against the more demanding standard required by potential buyers within the broader scientific community,” said Gibbs. “At the same time, we are now able to manufacture and market a range of lower priced walk-in coolers and freezers for use in smaller convenience stores and restaurants.”


According to Gibbs “the range of users and applications for RMI products is sufficiently broad to ensure that the company is little impacted by swings in the economy. We are delivering our products to clients not only across North America but also in Dubai, Korea and Antarctica for facilities ranging from hotels, restaurants and manufacturing operations to hospitals, schools, mortuaries, prisons and military bases. As well, our team is generating significant business through the sale of engineered swing doors, manual sliding doors, power sliding doors for warehouses and a full range of environmental chamber doors for original equipment and replacement applications.” In addition to Gibbs, the company’s management team includes Larry Jaffe, the former owner who is now responsible for Business Development, and Jim Cook, Vice President of Sales. Remy Pantaleon, in the role of Controller, Pedro Castaneda as Operations Manager and Tony Sandoval as Plant Manager round out the team with more than 60 years of collective experience.