Grey Mountain Busy as a Bee

Grey Mountain Partners has acquired Mann Lake, the largest supplier of beekeeping products in the United States. The management team of Mann Lake co-invested in this transaction alongside Grey Mountain.

Mann Lake is the market leader in the beekeeping supply market selling wood products, plastic products, feeds, tools, medications, and apparel to commercial and hobbyist beekeepers throughout the US.

Mann Lake, founded in 1983, is headquartered 145 miles west of Duluth in Hackensack, MN and has additional facilities in Woodland, CA; Marshall, TX; and Wilkes-Barre, PA (www.mannlakeltd.com). The company also owns and operates D&I Pure Sweeteners, a Woodland, CA-based supplier of granulated, bulk, industrial, and wholesale sugar (www.dipuresweeteners.com).

At closing of the transaction, COO Stuart Volby was promoted to CEO of Mann Lake. “We are excited to partner with Grey Mountain in the next stage of our growth,” said Mr. Volby. “Grey Mountain shares our excitement for the beekeeping industry. We look forward to their support as we execute on an array of growth opportunities in our core beekeeping market and beyond.”

Shortly after completing the management buyout, Mann Lake acquired Clarkson, KY-based Kelley Beekeeping (www.kelleybees.com) from North Branch, MN-based Frandsen Corporation, a privately held group of businesses owned and operated by Dennis and Greg Frandsen. As part of the Kelley acquisition, Mann Lake has struck an agreement with Frandsen-owned Miller Manufacturing, an Eagan, MN-based manufacturer and distributor of products for the farm, ranch, and pet industries, to sell Miller’s beekeeping supplies through Mann Lake’s distribution chain.

“Mann Lake has established itself as the leading supplier of beekeeping products in the US with a relentless focus on quality and customer service,” said Rob Dellinger, a Vice President at Grey Mountain. “We believe that Grey Mountain’s growth capital and operational support will allow the company to better serve both new and existing customers while rapidly expanding into adjacent markets.”

Grey Mountain is currently investing from its $425 million third fund, which was raised in 2013, and invests up to $75 million in control acquisitions of companies with enterprise values between $30 million and $150 million. Sectors of interest are varied and include building products and materials; diversified manufacturing; financial services; food and beverage; health and wellness; industrial technology; packaging; professional services; specialty chemicals; transportation and logistics; and wholesale distribution.

Grey Mountain was founded in 2003 by Managing Partners Rob Wright and Jeff Kuo and is based in Boulder with additional offices in Minneapolis and Pittsburgh (www.greymountain.com).

© 2018 Private Equity Professional | November 15, 2018

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