May River Capital forms partnership with specialty chemicals exec

May River Capital has teamed up with Jeff Oravitz to seek and acquire a specialty coatings and materials company. Recently, Oravitz was president of MetoKote Corporation and vice president of coatings services at PPG Industries.


CHICAGO, July 10, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Chicago-based private equity firm May River Capital announced today that it has partnered with Jeff Oravitz to seek and acquire a specialty coatings and materials company with a proven presence in one or more segments of the chemicals value chain. Steve Griesemer and Chip Grace, Partners at May River, are coordinating the search with Mr. Oravitz for the new platform strategy.

Mr. Oravitz has nearly 30 years of specialty chemicals experience in a variety of leadership roles. Most recently, he dually served as President, MetoKote Corporation (a coating application services provider) and Vice President of Coatings Services at PPG Industries, where he sponsored the acquisition of The Crown Group from High Road Capital Partners in 2017. Prior to PPG, Mr. Oravitz served as the President & CEO of MetoKote Corporation. At MetoKote, Mr. Oravitz led the process to sell the company to PPG Industries, and was also a member of MetoKote’s Board of Directors. MetoKote grew to nearly $200 million in global revenue and more than 1,500 employees across 29 global facilities under Mr. Oravitz’s leadership.

“When there is a compelling opportunity to partner with an industry executive who is extensively credentialed in one of our target growth sectors, we will conduct a focused search alongside the executive,” said Griesemer. “Jeff will also be joining May River’s Executive Resource Group, a collection of experienced operators who hail from world-class organizations and institutions. He will work with our core team to evaluate new opportunities, assist in platform optimization, and, in the case of this executive-led strategy, take a leadership role in a new platform company.”

“I am very pleased to partner with May River Capital in the development of a new platform,” said Oravitz. “The specialty coatings and materials space presents many opportunities for investment and development, and is well aligned with my background and the resources of May River Capital.”

Mr. Oravitz and May River are seeking a specialty coatings and materials platform company with the following characteristics:

Products should include coatings, adhesives, sealants, elastomers, surface treatments, or plastics and specialty materials. The company should operate within distinct segment(s) of the chemicals value chain, such as manufacturing or value-added distribution;
Applications should call for complex chemistries with narrowly focused industrial applications, however, non-industrial end markets will also be considered;
The operating strategy should emphasize small batch, asset-light, dynamic operations, with a lean workforce tailoring custom solutions;
Headquartered in North America; and
Minimum of $10 million in revenue and $3 million of EBITDA; opportunities with less than $3 million in EBITDA will be actively evaluated as potential add-on investments
May River has successfully executed against multiple executive-led strategies, including partnerships with Brad Sterner, CEO of severe-duty valves and actuators platform, Hunt Valve; Rick Weiler, CEO of test & measurement platform, Dickson; and Chris Stevens, CEO of industrial pumps platform, Industrial Flow Solutions.

Headquartered in Chicago, IL, May River is a private equity firm focused on investing in lower middle-market industrial growth companies, including precision manufacturing, engineered products, specialized industrial services and value-added industrial distribution businesses. The Firm is investing out of its first institutional fund of $170 million, which was closed in March 2017.