Mason Wells Newsletter 2018 – Volume 4
October 1 2018
- Mason Wells Acquires Buffalo Games, LLC
- CE Power Merges with Power Grid Engineering, LLC
- Aquion’s OptiPure Division Debuts New Products and Services
- Eddy Packing Co. Launches New Foodservice Items
Mason Wells closed on the acquisition of Buffalo Games, LLC on August 31, 2018. Buffalo Games is a manufacturer, innovator, and marketer of jigsaw puzzles and board games for adults, children, and families serving the retail and e-commerce channels. Mason Wells, along with Nagendra Raina, Chief Executive Officer of Buffalo Games, and other members of the management team, acquired the business from the founders, Paul and Eden Dedrick.
Founded in 1986, Buffalo Games is the largest manufacturer of jigsaw puzzles in the United States and a leading provider of party and board games for adults, children, and families. The Company designs and manufactures millions of puzzles each year at its Buffalo, New York, headquarters. It works closely with artists and other licensors of artwork and images for its puzzles including Darrell Bush, Kim Norlien, Star Wars™, and many others. The Company has also developed a growing portfolio of table, board, and party games, including titles such as Watch Ya Mouth®, Brain Games™, Skee-Ball®, Silly Street™, Plingpong®, and The Voting Game. Buffalo Games manages an expansive group of relationships with leading licensors, inventors, and artists that feeds the Company’s internal innovation and product development functions led by a design team with deep industry experience. The Company sells its products to a range of markets, including mass retail, e-commerce, specialty, bookstore, grocery, and craft/hobby.
“The last few years we have seen Buffalo Games achieve rapid success in both the board game and jigsaw puzzle categories across the retail landscape and, in particular, with mass market and online retailers. Buffalo Games’ biggest asset is our team and innovative culture that nurtures creativity and consumer engagement in a fast-paced and fun environment,” said Nagendra Raina, Chief Executive Officer of Buffalo Games. “This partnership with Mason Wells will continue to accelerate growth and open up new opportunities for us. Importantly, it will allow us to extend our strong innovation and growth platform, and further strengthen our deep relationships with our retailers, licensors, and inventors. This is an exciting time to be a Buffalo Gamer.”
“We are thrilled to be partnering with a world-class management team at the helm of Buffalo Games,” said Ben Holbrook, Managing Director at Mason Wells. “Nagendra and his team have built a powerful innovation platform that was founded over 30 years ago by Paul and Eden Dedrick. The Company’s dynamic culture and the strong relationships it has forged with licensors, retailers, and suppliers are key aspects of the Company’s success and future growth opportunities. We look forward to supporting the team as they continue to drive innovation and growth in the expanding puzzle and games categories.”
For more information, please visit the Company’s website at www.buffalogames.com.
On August 31, 2018, CE Power, a Mason Wells Buyout Fund III portfolio company, announced that it merged with Power Grid Engineering, LLC (“PGE”) under a newly formed holding company, Qualus Power Services Corp. Both CE Power and PGE will operate as wholly-owned subsidiaries of Qualus Power Services and continue to provide services from their existing operations and under their existing brand names. This is the fifth transaction completed by CE Power since partnering with Mason Wells in 2015.
The combined businesses create a leader in the outsourced power systems engineering and field services industry. The name of the new holding company, Qualus, was chosen by the companies based on the Latin word for quality – “qualis.” Outstanding service quality is the foundation of both companies, and the combination will allow both businesses to continue their industry-leading investment in safety, quality assurance, and human performance initiatives.
PGE’s expertise in transmission substation engineering and field services, including protection and control (“P&C”) services, will be combined with CE Power’s testing, commissioning, maintenance, and turnkey engineering, procurement, and construction (“EPC”) services to create one of the most comprehensive sets of service offerings in the industry. The combined business will operate from over 20 field and engineering locations, provide services in over 30 states and operate with over 650 employees, the vast majority of whom are power engineers, P&C field technicians, or NETA-certified field technicians.
“We are honored and excited to combine CE Power with Power Grid Engineering to form an industry leader,” stated Paul Cody, Chief Executive Officer of Qualus Power Services. “Led by Michael Wright, Andre Uribe, and Glenn Durie, PGE has built the premier company providing transmission P&C engineering and field services. The merger adds CE Power’s broad power services capabilities to PGE’s P&C capabilities to provide expanded services and geographic reach for the clients of both companies. I believe our clients, employees, and suppliers will benefit from this merger as we continue to grow as a premier independent power services provider. This expansion reinforces our unwavering commitment to our clients in providing quality work and a culture of safety and human performance, as well as our dedication to our employees’ continued professional growth and development.”
Michael Wright, President of Power Grid Engineering, commented, “By partnering with CE Power under Qualus Power Services, we will be able to provide our clients a new breadth of service capabilities while continuing our core focus on transmission substation engineering and field services. I am particularly excited to introduce CE Power’s EPC services and broad switchgear and apparatus engineering, testing, commissioning, and maintenance services to our power transmission clients and their power generation and distribution colleagues.”
For more information, please visit the Company’s website at www.cepower.net.
In May 2018, Aquion’s OptiPure division launched a new line of products and services that were showcased at the 2018 National Restaurant Association Show in Chicago, Illinois.
The new products include a reverse osmosis system specifically designed for steam applications, a Sanit-ICE biofilm reduction system for commercial ice machines, Qwik-Twist chloramine reduction systems for beverage and drinking water applications, and Wi-Fi-enabled filtration systems.
Eddie Garmon, OptiPure’s Executive Vice President of Business Development, states, “We are thrilled to introduce our new product and service offerings at the 2018 National Restaurant Association Show. These new offerings reflect OptiPure’s continued growth and commitment to the foodservice industry.”
OptiPure® is a leading provider of water treatment solutions for the foodservice industry. It manufactures a complete line of commercial filtration systems, membrane separation (reverse osmosis) systems, and water softeners for applications including ice makers, fountain beverages, coffee and tea brewers, combi ovens, and warewashing. OptiPure became a division of Aquion, Inc., a Mason Wells Buyout Fund III portfolio company, in 2015.
For more information, please visit the Company’s website at www.aquion.com.
Eddy Packing Co., a Mason Wells Buyout Fund III portfolio company, is a premier processor of beef, pork, and poultry products offering a complete line of fully cooked, natural smoked, and marinated fresh and frozen meat products to major retailers and foodservice distributors.
On August 1, 2018, the Company announced the addition of three new items to its foodservice portfolio; Eddy Extra Hot Beef and Pork Sausage Link, Eddy Cooked Sliced Italian Sausage, and Eddy BBQ Sauce with Chopped Beef.
“We are excited to roll these items out to our foodservice customers. These items highlight the ability of our research and development team to continue to create new items in a category we have excelled in for over 65 years,” said Dean Sanders, Executive Vice President of Sales for Eddy Packing.
These new items from Eddy Packing demonstrate the Company’s commitment to the ongoing development of quality, flavorful meat products with superior ingredients.
For more information, please visit the Company’s website at www.eddypacking.com.