Mason Wells Newsletter 2019 – Volume 1
January 1 2019
- Mason Wells Announces the Sale of Aquion, Inc.
- Mason Wells Announces the Sale of Eddy Packing Co., Inc.
- Mason Wells Acquires Structural Concepts Corporation
- Whitehall Specialties, Inc. Announces New Leadership
- Mason Wells Announces 2019 Promotions
Mason Wells recently announced the closing of the sale of Aquion, Inc., a Mason Wells Buyout Fund III, LP portfolio company, to Pentair plc (“Pentair”). The transaction closed on February 13, 2019.
Based in Roselle, Illinois, Aquion is a leading manufacturer and marketer of premium water treatment equipment and water quality solutions that serve a variety of markets around the world. Mason Wells invested in Aquion, Inc. in December of 2013 as part of a targeted search for investment opportunities in the water treatment industry.
“Aquion is a tremendous company led by one of the industry’s best management teams,” said Tom Smith, Executive Managing Director of Mason Wells. “During our ownership of the Company over the past five years, the Company established itself as a leader through sales channel and geographic expansion, product innovation, and operational excellence. We have been fortunate to partner with such a passionate and talented management team who has the business poised for continued success well into the future.”
For more information, please visit the Company’s website at www.aquion.com.
Mason Wells recently announced the closing of the sale of Eddy Packing Co., Inc., a Mason Wells Buyout Fund III, LP portfolio company, to Insight Equity III LP. The transaction closed on February 8, 2019.
Based in Yoakum, Texas, Eddy is a leading, value-added processor of smoked, cooked and fresh pork, beef, and poultry products that are available in refrigerated and frozen formats.
“We are pleased to report the sale of Eddy,” said Greg Myers, Senior Managing Director of Mason Wells. “During our ownership, we transitioned the Company from family ownership and made investments to enhance the Company’s operational capabilities, expand its product breadth, and increase customer and channel diversification. We believe the Company and team will continue to thrive with their new private equity owners, Insight Equity.”
“The partnership of Eddy Packing and Mason Wells over the past several years has poised the company for future success in the food industry,” said John M. Fortino Jr., President and Chief Financial Officer. “The investments that Mason Wells and Eddy Packing made in processing and packaging capabilities as well as in key personnel will foster sustainable growth as a leading high-quality food processor in the Ready-To-Eat category. We are excited to partner with Insight Equity who will benefit from the investments made in the infrastructure of the business over the past seven years. Insight Equity will further solidify Eddy Packing as the go-to supplier in the food industry for Ready-To-Eat products in the Retail, Foodservice, and Commercial channels. I want to personally thank Mason Wells for the support and opportunities that they have provided to us here at Eddy Packing.”
For more information, please visit the Company’s website at www.eddypacking.com.
Mason Wells closed on the acquisition of Structural Concepts Corporation on October 3, 2018. SCC is a designer and manufacturer of temperature-controlled food and beverage display cases for foodservice establishments and supermarkets. The Company is the sixth platform investment for Mason Wells Buyout Fund IV, LP.
Structural Concepts Corporation was founded in 1972 by James Doss with the objective of designing, engineering, and manufacturing the highest-performing refrigerated food and beverage merchandisers in aesthetically attractive formats that save energy, preserve food and beverages longer, and minimize operating costs. SCC’s emphasis on innovation, design, quality, vertical integration, and superior customer service make it an industry leader. The Company’s headquarters and manufacturing facilities are located in Norton Shores, Michigan.
The Company was previously owned by James Doss, his family, and members of the management team. The employees and suppliers of SCC have played an integral role in the Company’s growth and success and will continue to do so in the future.
“This is an exciting time for Structural Concepts. Our employees have built a great business with an enviable track record of growth. Mason Wells will provide Structural Concepts with a seamless ownership transition and with resources to help the Company to achieve great things. All current shareholders, including myself, are so excited about Mason Wells’ plans for our future that we have all chosen to reinvest in the business,” said David Geerts, President of SCC.
Since 1998, Mason Wells has invested in numerous Midwest-based, privately-held companies in the engineered products and services industry supporting family ownership transitions.
“SCC is a company we have admired for a number of years, and the Company fits very well with Mason Wells in terms of family ownership, our industry knowledge, and Midwestern headquarters. SCC is a leader in supplying the growing grab & go, fresh prepared food and beverage refrigerated merchandiser markets. We believe SCC is well positioned to grow through attractive growth trends, leading product development capabilities, a trusted 45-year-old brand, state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities, and a strong management team who we plan to back with additional resources for growth,” said Jay Radtke, Senior Managing Director of Mason Wells.
For more information, please visit the Company’s website at www.structuralconcepts.com.
Whitehall Specialties, a Mason Wells Buyout Fund III, LP portfolio company and manufacturer of custom analog and processed cheese ingredients and products for industrial, foodservice, and retail markets, recently announced the appointment of Steve Snyder as its Chief Executive Officer.
Mr. Snyder served on the Company’s board of directors over the last four years and is an experienced executive from the food and nutrition industry. He brings strong marketing, innovation, and leadership background in the management and growth of better-for-you innovative food and nutrition businesses. While an executive at Cargill, Mr. Snyder’s team launched the branded consumer product and ingredient Truvia™, the first all-natural, high-intensity, no-calorie-sweetener, and drove the growth of the nutritional ingredients businesses. He was also the former President and Chief Operating Officer for Neogen Corporation.
With an experienced leader like Mr. Snyder at the helm, Whitehall is well positioned for a new era of growth, delivering a range of innovative cheese solutions to the market, including plant-based alternatives and other on-trend consumer offerings.
Mr. Snyder’s appointment follows the retirement of Karl Kramer who announced his desire to devote more time to his family, volunteer work, and other life passions. During the three-and-a-half years that Mr. Kramer led Whitehall, significant improvements were made in the areas of safety, quality, operational efficiency, employee retention, and customer satisfaction.
Whitehall is also pleased to announce the appointment of Mike Berg as its new Chief Financial Officer. Mr. Berg is a seasoned financial executive with extensive experience overseeing high-growth food and agricultural manufacturing companies. For the past twelve years, Mr. Berg served as Vice President of Finance at Bellisio Foods in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Mr. Berg brings with him an extensive background in corporate finance, strategic planning, and investor relations. He has a stellar track record in growth-oriented food businesses and will set a new standard of leadership in Whitehall’s finance and accounting teams. Throughout his career, he has been instrumental in providing vision, strategy, and financial execution to help organizations get to the next level.
As CFO, Mr. Berg will be a key member of the leadership team. He will be responsible for ensuring that the finance and accounting team continues to support Whitehall’s growth.
For more information, please visit the Company’s website at www.whitehall-specialties.com.
Damon Thome was promoted to Vice President. As a Vice President of Mason Wells Buyout Funds, Mr. Thome is primarily responsible for supporting the funds’ investment activities. In this capacity, he is responsible for initiating investment opportunities, new investment analysis, conducting due diligence, negotiating debt financings, and working with portfolio company management teams.
Since joining Mason Wells in 2012, Mr. Thome has played a vital role in driving value creation in a number of Mason Wells portfolio companies. Mr. Thome was instrumental in the investment and growth of Aquion, Inc., a manufacturer and marketer of premium water treatment equipment, leading to its successful sale in 2019. In addition to Aquion, Mr. Thome is also a key member of the team managing the investment of Qualus Power Services Corp., a provider of electric power engineering, testing, and commissioning services. Mr. Thome previously served in the roles of Associate and Senior Associate at Mason Wells.
Michael Graves was promoted to Vice President. As a Vice President of Mason Wells Buyout Funds, Mr. Graves is primarily responsible for supporting the funds’ investment activities. In this capacity, he is responsible for investment analysis, financial modeling, due diligence, portfolio analysis, valuations of portfolio companies, limited partner reporting, working with portfolio company management teams, negotiating transactions, and arranging for the sale of investments.
Since joining Mason Wells in 2013, Mr. Graves has played an active role in the acquisition, value creation, and sale of a number of Mason Wells portfolio companies. Most notably, Mr. Graves was instrumental in the sales of Fund II portfolio companies Oilgear and Dedicated Computing as well as Fund III portfolio companies Pacon, Mullinix, and Paris Presents. Mr. Graves previously served in the roles of Associate and Senior Associate at Mason Wells.