LFM Completes Fourth Eckhart Add-On
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LFM Completes Fourth Eckhart Add-On

Eckhart, a portfolio company of LFM Capital, has acquired Eagle Engineering. This is the fourth add-on acquisition for Eckhart since being acquired by LFM in June 2015.

Eagle Engineering designs and manufactures weld stations, assembly fixtures, and automated test stands that are used in the aerospace, agriculture, transportation, heavy construction, mining, and oil & gas industries.Customers of the company include John Deere, AGCO, Case New Holland Industrial, Genesis Systems Group, Doosan-Bobcat, Bridgestone, Caterpillar, and Winnebago Industries. Eagle Engineering was founded in 1989 by Bryan Purdy and is headquartered in Eldridge, IA (www.eagleengineeringinc.com).

“I was seeking a business partner capable of scaling the business I founded and committed to making capital investments that will enable us to continue providing a high level of local service to our customers,” said Mr. Purdy. “I ultimately chose the Eckhart team because I believe in their Industry 4.0 vision and their commitment to our employees and the surrounding community.”

Industry 4.0 refers to the current trend of automation and data exchange in manufacturing technologies. The goal of Industry 4.0 is the creation of “smart factories” that utilize cyber-physical systems, the Internet of things, cloud computing and cognitive computing. Industry 4.0 is commonly referred to as the fourth industrial revolution.

Eckhart is a designer and manufacturer of specialized ergonomic tools that are sold to automotive and industrial manufacturers.  According to Eckhart, ergonomically correct machinery enhances process reliability and results in improved worker performance, worker safety, and product quality.  Eckhart’s products include autonomous guided vehicles (AGVs), collaborative robotic systems, traditional robotics, additive manufacturing tool development & production, and ergonomic general assembly tooling products. The company’s customers include automotive and industrial original equipment manufacturers such as Stryker Medical, General Electric, Ford, Tesla, PACCAR, John Deere, Bradford White, and Caterpillar. Eckhart is led by its President and CEO Andy Storm and is headquartered in Lansing, MI (www.eckhartusa.com).

“This acquisition enables Eckhart to rapidly accelerate the deployment of Industry 4.0 technologies to industries that we believe will shape the future of the world,” said Mr. Storm. “Population demographics suggest productivity gains in agriculture and food production will be requisite to feed the projected 9 billion people that will inhabit the Earth in 2050.  As the world’s population grows, so does demand for commercial air travel, thus the record backlog of commercial airplanes at the end of 2017.  While agriculture and aerospace are only two of the many industries that Eagle Engineering serves, we believe the long-term potential to expand and grow the business with local customer partners is significant.”

The buy of Eagle Engineering is Eckhart’s fourth add-on acquisition since being acquired by LFM in June 2015. In March 2018, Eckhart acquired Logic Plus, a Reed City, MI-based maker of control systems, programmable logic controllers, process control automation, human-machine interfaces, and automated material handling systems. In December 2017, Eckhart acquired Polker Design Services, a Rochester Hills, MI-based designer of automated manufacturing and robotic assembly systems. In July 2016, Eckhart acquired Auto Craft Tool & Die, an Algonac, MI-based provider of industrial material handling systems and tooling, and ergonomic and work cell construction components.

LFM Capital is based in Nashville and invests in US-based manufacturing and industrial services companies that have revenues from $10 million to $100 million and enterprise values from $15 million to $75 million.  LFM was formed in May 2014 by Steve Cook, Executive Managing Director; Rick Reisner, Managing Director; and Dan Shockley, Managing Director. The firm closed its first fund with $110 million in capital commitments in October 2014 (www.lfmcapital.com).

© 2018 Private Equity Professional | July 20, 2018

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