PE-backed Grammer buys Sterling Transport Co

Grammer Industries Inc, a portfolio company of Stellex Capital Management, has acquired Sterling Transport Co. Inc, a transporter of hazardous and specialty chemicals and materials. No financial terms were disclosed.


NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Stellex Capital Management (“Stellex”), a middle market private equity firm with offices in New York and London, announced today that its portfolio company Grammer Industries, Inc. (“Grammer”) has acquired Sterling Transport Co., Inc. (“Sterling”). In October 2018, Stellex acquired Grammer in partnership with the Whittington family. Both carriers specialize in the transportation of hazardous and specialty chemicals, as well as several other commodities and materials. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Now entering its fifth decade, Grammer is recognized as the premier provider of safe, dependable bulk hazardous chemicals transportation services in the United States. Grammer’s excellent record of safety and reliability has allowed the company to cultivate longstanding relationships with its customers, with many spanning back to the company’s founding. The company has 17 facilities strategically located near major chemical production hubs across the United States.

Sterling is a third-generation family-owned business founded by the Hinton family in 1939. The company has grown into an established transporter of hazardous and specialty chemicals and materials, serving customers in the Southeast, the Midwest, as well as the East Coast and states further West, including Texas.

“This is an exciting development for Sterling’s customers, drivers and its team of dedicated associates,” said Bart Middleton, CEO of Grammer. “As part of the Grammer family, Sterling will gain access to a broader set of resources which will enable the company to expand its service offering to its loyal customer base.”

John Whittington, Vice President of Grammer added, “The strategic combination of Grammer and Sterling greatly advances our vision to establish a leading US specialty logistics company. Our integration plan will leverage the relative strengths of both companies – and particularly the combined organization of over 500 drivers and owner-operators – to create a compelling value proposition for current and future customers.”

The combined business will have 22 terminals, 350 tractors, 850 specialty trailers and over 500 drivers and owner-operators who will continue to support more than 2,000 delivery points serving over 500 customers. Both companies’ drivers are highly trained, dedicated professionals who are committed to delivering the highest quality customer service. As part of the transaction, Sterling’s founder, Mr. Hugh Hinton, Jr. will continue to be an investor in the combined company.

“The acquisition is part of our continued investment into the growth and expansion of Grammer’s transportation and logistics platform,” said Michael Stewart, Managing Partner of Stellex. “There are many similarities between the companies. Both operate in similar regions, haul similar core products and share a similar culture of safety and training. The combined company will benefit from complementary geographies, commodities, fleet, facilities and drivers, substantially increasing the overall scale with operational overlap, and providing more opportunity for growth through the expanded entity.”

Houlihan Lokey, Inc.; FINNEA Group, LLC; KSM Business Services, Inc.; Scopelitis, Garvin, Light, Hanson & Feary, PC; Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP and K&L Gates LLP advised Grammer on the transaction. Confluence Advisors, LLC and Robbins, May & Rich LLP advised Sterling and the Hinton Family.

About Grammer Transportation
Based in Columbus, Indiana, Grammer Industries was founded by Charles “Shorty” Whittington as a niche carrier servicing the agriculture industry by hauling anhydrous ammonia. The Company has grown steadily over time, adding new products and expanding its geographical base. Today, Grammer is the premier provider of bulk hazardous transportation services in the United States. The Company stands on its foundation of safety and unsurpassed customer service as the key components of its longevity and success.

About Stellex Capital Management
Stellex is a private equity manager that invests in and oversees U.S. and European corporate assets. Stellex’s focus is on middle-market companies going through business or industry transitions, as well as special situation opportunities. Stellex seeks to identify and deploy capital in opportunities that have the potential to provide stability, improvement, and growth for its portfolio companies. For more information please visit: