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P.E. Firm Buys SureWerx

The Riverside Co., a global private equity firm, has acquired SureWerx Inc., adding the company to Riverside’s specialty manufacturing and distribution industry specialization portfolio. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. The seller was Penfund.

Co-headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia and Elgin, IL, SureWerx is a provider of proprietary, branded professional safety products, tools and equipment to the automotive aftermarket as well as the general industrial, construction and energy markets.

Its product line includes professional tools and abrasives, apparel, personal protective equipment, fall protection products, and lifting equipment. SureWerx markets its products in Canada under the Jet, Strongarm, ITC, Startech, Pioneer, Ranpro, PeakWorks and Sellstrom brands; and in the United States under the American Forge & Foundry, Pioneer, Ranpro, PeakWorks and Sellstrom brands.

The company has more than 3,500 customers across North America, according to Riverside.

The firm will partner with SureWerx’s existing management, led by CEO Chris Baby. Riverside operating partner Eric Nowlin is joining SureWerx as non-executive chairman of the board of directors. Nowlin is a former senior executive for W.W. Grainger in the United States and Canada.

Riverside’s investment is seen as an opportunity to further SureWerx’s growth strategy of adding complementary new products and delivering top service to its established network of distributors and end-users. “We are excited to partner with the SureWerx team to build upon its strong track record of growth, including through strategic acquisitions, while maintaining the company’s outstanding track record of service,” said Riverside partner Brad Roberts.

Baby said this move represents a significant milestone for SureWerx. “Riverside offers additional resources that will enable SureWerx to quickly leverage the platform that we have created,” he stated. “Our visions are aligned, and we will be working strategically to bring additional innovative products and solutions to enhance worker safety and productivity in all of our end markets.”

Golub Capital provided debt financing for the deal. Jones Day and KPMG were legal counsel and accounting advisor, respectively.

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