Frontenac Sells GNAP to CenterOak

Frontenac has sold GNAP, a specialty distributor of industrial products to CenterOak Partners. Frontenac acquired GNAP in December 2014.

GNAP is a national distributor of industrial abrasive products, equipment, specialty ceramics and provides ancillary services to more than 5,000 companies that are active in investment casting, metal stamping, machining, forging, remediation, coating and paving. The company was formed in 2005 through a merger between Grand Northern Products and Abrasive Products and is headquartered near Grand Rapids in Byron Center, MI (www.gnap-surfaceprep.com).

During Frontenac’s ownership term the company completed four add-on acquisitions, launched numerous organic growth initiatives, and expanded its senior management team. “Frontenac has been instrumental in shaping the strategy and vision of GNAP, helping to strengthen our operations and team and providing meaningful support in the pursuit of organic and acquisition growth initiatives,” said Mike Currie, CEO of GNAP. “Our management team and associates are excited to build upon the success we’ve achieved with Frontenac and look forward to the next phase of growth alongside CenterOak Partners.”

CenterOak makes equity investments of $20 million to $90 million in companies with enterprise values of $50 million to $250 million. Sectors of interest include industrial distribution and manufacturing, business services, and consumer. CenterOak is based in Dallas (www.centeroakpartners.com).

“CenterOak has an impressive track record of developing specialty distribution businesses, including significant experience supporting geographic and product line expansion strategies,” added Mr. Currie.

“We are pleased to partner with a strong and experienced management team that has demonstrated a proven ability to generate organic and acquisitive growth,” said Randall Fojtasek, Managing Partner of CenterOak. “GNAP represents an attractive opportunity to work with a leading industrial growth business operating in large and fragmented product categories. We are very impressed with the company’s emphasis on technical expertise, product category leadership and customer service – three pillars of a strong and scalable value proposition.”

Frontenac invests in lower middle-market businesses that operate primarily in the food, industrial, and services industries. The firm was founded in 1971 and is headquartered in Chicago (www.frontenac.com).

“GNAP is the fourth enterprise sale from our tenth investment fund and the fifth successful sale of an industrial distribution portfolio company in the last three years. We are pleased to have worked with the GNAP leadership team and see a bright future for the company,” said Paul Carbery, Managing Partner of Frontenac.

Charlotte-based BlackArch Partners (www.blackarchpartners.com) was the financial advisor to GNAP

© 2018 Private Equity Professional | November 2, 2018

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