Ronin Equity builds food equipment company, Clearlake buys Mold-Rite Plastics, Partner at Martis Capital leaves firm as it eyes next fund

Ronin Equity has M&A plans for QBD and Minus Forty while Clearlake buys Mold-Rite Plastics.

Happy Tuesday, PE Hub readers!

Today we’ve got a people move story, news on Clearlake’s big packaging solutions bet, and exclusive details around two recently merged refrigeration companies seeking add-ons.

Big plans: In a bid to create a global commercial refrigeration brand, Ronin Equity Partners acquired and married two Canadian equipment manufacturers – QBD and Minus Forty.

The PE firm, a seven-person investment team based in New York, snapped up refrigeration equipment providers at a $230 million valuation, or just over 7x EBITDA multiple last week, sources familiar with the deal terms told PE Hub.

The newly combined company, which sells products ranging from beer and wine coolers and freezers to accessories like beverage and food dispensers, is expected to generate roughly $115 million in revenue this year. About 80 percent of total revenue comes from the US and the rest from Canada, the sources added.

The firm will target add-ons generating at least $1 million in EBITDA in Latin America and Europe. Ronin Equity wants to create a platform that offers refrigeration options to big conglomerates like Nestlé, Pepsi and pet food companies like Freshpet internationally.

“We do zero sales outside of US and Canada… but our customers are global [in nature],” said David Feierstein, managing partner at the firm.

The companies generate roughly $32 million in combined EBITDA and the transaction includes $140 million of equity and $90 million in debt, the sources said.

Read my full report on PE Hub.

Billion-dollar deal: Clearlake Capital Group is buying Mold-Rite Plastics, a provider of value-added packaging components like jars, dispensing closures, and child-resistant closures. The company serves markets ranging from healthcare and wellness to specialty food and personal care. According to a report by Bloomberg, existing owner Irving Place Capital had been seeking more than $1 billion, including debt, in a potential sale.

Evercore and Deutsche Bank advised Clearlake, while William Blair advised Mold-Rite.
Irving acquired New York-based Mold-Rite back in 2010 and subsequently completed two add-on acquisitions. The company distinguishes itself through its large IP library, production capabilities with short lead times, and a focus on post-consumer recyclable solutions, according to the press release posted on PE Hub.

Moving on: Shahab Vagefi, founding partner at Martis Capital, left the healthcare specialist last month and plans on joining a new shop later this year, according to a friends and family email seen by Buyouts.

The departure comes as Martis plans its next fund, which is likely to be launched early next year, according to a person with knowledge of the firm.

Vagefi joined Martis (then known as Capricorn Health) in 2010 as a founding partner, before which he worked at Carlyle Group for three years as a senior associate, according to his LinkedIn profile.

The firm promoted two other partners, Mario Moreno and Owen Davis, around its third fund, which closed on $550 million in 2018. Fund III was Martis’ first fund as an independent firm after it spun out of Capricorn Investment Group, the family office of Jeff Skill, co-founder of eBay.

It’s not clear why Vagefi left Martis. Neither Vagefi or Martis managing partner Barry Uphoff responded to a request for comment on Monday.

Read Chris Witkowsky’s story on Buyouts.

That’s all I’ve got for today! Have an awesome week ahead, and as always, hit me up with tips n’ gossip, feedback and your comments at