Wingate sells Preferred Compounding to Audax

Wingate Partners completed the sale of Barberton, Ohio-based Preferred Compounding, a rubber compounder, to Audax Private Equity. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. KeyBanc Capital Markets and Haynes and Boone LLP advised Preferred.


DALLAS, Feb. 1, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Wingate Partners (“Wingate”), a Dallas-based private equity firm, completed the sale of its portfolio company, Preferred Compounding (“Preferred”), to Audax Private Equity (“Audax”), a Boston-based private equity firm. Preferred is a leading developer and manufacturer of highly specialized, value-added elastomeric compounds in the North American compounding industry.

Wingate partnered with the Preferred management team to acquire the business in December 2010. In the five years since, Preferred expanded its technical and sales organizations, invested over $20 million into its manufacturing plants, and increased its footprint into central Mexico via acquisition. Through this period, Preferred significantly outpaced the industry to become the second largest custom rubber compounder in North America.

Chris Dupré, a Partner at Wingate, stated that “Preferred Compounding was an ideal match for Wingate given our focus on manufacturing businesses in transitioning industries. We shared a common vision with Ken Bloom and the Preferred team to provide exceptional value to customers through operational execution and customer service. Ken and the team did an excellent job of executing the strategies to achieve that vision.” Dupré further said, “It was a pleasure to have partnered with such an outstanding team and to have worked with such high-quality people.”

Ken Bloom, Preferred’s CEO, commented that, “Wingate has been a tremendous partner for Preferred Compounding. We worked closely together to develop and implement our business strategies over the past five years, and we are now positioned to take the next step in our growth. Preferred will continue to invest in improving quality, expanding capabilities and partnering with our customers through flexible programs and services that add value. The Preferred team looks forward to working with our new partner. Audax has tremendous experience and expertise with middle-market industrial companies and fully supports our vision for the future.”

In connection with the transaction, KeyBanc Capital Markets, led by Paul Schneir, served as financial advisor to Preferred, and Haynes and Boone, LLP acted as its legal advisor.
Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
About Preferred Compounding
Preferred Compounding supplies proprietary and custom mixed rubber compounds to customers including molders, extruders, mixers and others in the rubber goods market. Primary industries served include automotive, construction, power generation and roll goods. The Company’s plants are located in Tallapoosa, Georgia, Huntingdon, Tennessee, San Luis Potosi, Mexico and Barberton, Ohio, which is also company headquarters. For more information on Preferred, visit
About Wingate Partners
Wingate Partners ( was founded in 1987 to purchase controlling equity interests in companies where the opportunity exists to create value through superior operational and strategic execution. Typically, Wingate’s investments fall into two primary categories: profitable companies undergoing transition or in a changing industry; and under-performing companies. In both cases, Wingate seeks to partner with the management teams to create equity value by improving the operating performance of the business and by developing long-term strategies to exploit changing industry dynamics. Wingate’s professionals bring substantial senior-level operating and strategic experience in addition to extensive careers in acquiring companies.