Morgenthaler Private Equity Exits Avtron

Lower middle-market buyout firm Morgenthaler Private Equity has exited its investment in Avtron Industrial Automation, selling the company to Nidec Corp. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Avtron is a  provider of highly engineered control and automation technology.


Morgenthaler Private Equity (“MPE”), the Cleveland and Boston-based private equity team focused on lower middle market buyouts, announced today that it has sold Avtron Industrial Automation, Inc. (“AIA” or the “Company”), a leading provider of highly engineered control and automation solutions, to Nidec Corporation NJ -1.55% . The Company’s products and systems are key components for the precise control of the motion of heavy industrial equipment in applications such as oil and gas drilling rigs, port cranes and hoists, mining shovels and draglines, maritime vessel propulsion systems, steel rolling mills, and paper machines.


Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.


Dennis Anderson, President of AIA, was quoted as saying: “AIA will strengthen Nidec’s industrial motor business in North America. In particular, AIA’s rich engineering resources and customer relationships will enhance Nidec’s ability to deliver exceptional industrial solutions to attractive, growing markets. In addition, I personally want to thank MPE for its partnership and strategic advice as we collectively built the Company into a world class organization.”


AIA was one of three companies owned by Avtron Holdings, LLC (“Avtron”). In March 2012, Avtron Loadbank, Inc. was sold to Emerson EMR -0.17% . Avtron Aerospace, Inc. was not part of this transaction and will continue to operate under Avtron and be owned by MPE. MPE originally acquired Avtron in November 2007. Peter Taft, Chairman of Avtron and Partner at MPE, added the following: “In partnership with management, we implemented many growth and operational improvement initiatives, including accelerating new product development, expanding into new end markets and geographies, improving manufacturing and supply chain efficiencies, and broadening capabilities through a key acquisition. On behalf of Karen Tuleta, Matt Yohe, and Constantine Elefter of MPE, as well as Rich Garcia of Avtron, it has been a pleasure working with Dennis Anderson and the rest of the very talented management team at AIA. Although the Company has achieved many successes to date, it is in the early stages of exploiting its full potential.”


Jones Day served as legal advisor and Western Reserve Partners served as financial advisor to MPE.


About AIAHeadquartered in Independence, Ohio, AIA has brought systems and product expertise to the industrial automation market since 1953. AIA manufactures AC and DC drive systems, diagnostic and productivity software, and encoders. In addition to selling highly reliable component products, the Company specializes in optimizing system performance and increasing customer productivity and profitability. The key markets it serves include cranes and material handling, pulp and paper, mining, metals, and marine. AIA employs approximately 150 people across its two manufacturing facilities in Ohio.


About Morgenthaler Private EquityMorgenthaler is a leading, national private equity and venture capital firm, with approximately $3 billion under management and investments in more than 300 companies over its 44-year history. MPE is the firm’s private equity team based in Cleveland, Ohio, and Boston, Massachusetts. MPE focuses on the lower middle market with transaction values between $25 million and $150 million and EBITDA in excess of $5 million. MPE has two primary target investment areas: high-value manufacturing and proprietary business services.