Apollo’s Vectra to Sell EaglePicher to GTCR

GTCR has signed an agreement to acquire EaglePicher Technologies from Vectra, a portfolio company of Apollo Global Management.

EaglePicher Technologies (EPT) designs, manufactures, and supplies batteries, battery management systems, and other energetic devices to the defense, aerospace, commercial, and medical device markets. The company’s batteries use a wide range of chemical technologies including lead acid, lithium carbon, lithium ion, nickel hydrogen, silver zinc, and others. EPT also sells other electronic devices including explosive and pyrotechnic devices and battery chargers and analyzers.

EPT is one of the few remaining companies related to Eagle-Picher, a manufacturer of paint, lead, batteries, printed circuit boards and other products that incurred significant environmental and asbestos liabilities and filed for bankruptcy in January 1991 and again in April 2005.

In February 2010 Eagle-Picher sold EaglePicher Technologies, their battery division, to OM Group, a chemical and metals firm based in Cleveland. In October 2015, OM Group was acquired by Apollo and the company changed its name to Vectra and moved its headquarters from Cleveland to St. Louis. The business of Vectra today includes EaglePicher Technologies and VACUUMSCHMELZE, a manufacturer of magnetic materials and related products.

For this transaction, GTCR will partner with CEO Gordon Walker and the current management team to separate EaglePicher Technologies from Vectra and create a standalone business. “EaglePicher has a storied legacy and is a recognized leader in providing high-performance energy solutions to its demanding end markets,” said GTCR Managing Director Craig Bondy. “Gordon and his team have done an extraordinary job driving strong operational performance while continuing to extend the company’s reach into new applications. We are excited to be partnering with the company to support its next phase of growth.”

GTCR pioneered the investment strategy of identifying and partnering with executives to acquire and build companies through a combination of acquisitions and internal growth. Sectors of interest include business services; technology, media & telecommunications; healthcare, and financial services & technology. Since its inception in 1980, GTCR has invested more than $15 billion in over 200 companies. The firm is based in Chicago (www.gtcr.com).

“The combination of EaglePicher’s best-in-class product portfolio and reputation for reliability makes this an exciting platform investment,” said Neil Willis, a Vice President at GTCR. “We look forward to leveraging our experience in government services and healthcare to help expand the company’s capabilities and accelerate growth.”

Apollo (NYSE: APO) has total assets under management of $242 billion in private equity, credit and real estate funds invested across a core group of nine industries:  chemicals; commodities; consumer & retail; distribution & transportation; financial & business services; manufacturing & industrial; media, cable & leisure; packaging & materials; and satellite & wireless. The firm has offices in New York, Los Angeles, Houston, Chicago, St. Louis, Bethesda, Toronto, London, Frankfurt, Madrid, Luxembourg, Mumbai, Delhi, Singapore, Hong Kong and Shanghai (www.agm.com).

EaglePicher Technologies was founded in 1942 and has approximately 800 full-time employees. The company is headquartered in Joplin, MO (www.eaglepicher.com).

The transaction is expected to close before the end of the first quarter of 2018.

© 2018 Private Equity Professional | January 24, 2018

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