DFW Sells Superior to Falfurrias

E-Technologies Group, a portfolio company of Falfurrias Capital Partners, has acquired Superior Controls from DFW Capital Partners.

Superior Controls is a provider of automation, integration and engineering support services to the life sciences industry. Customers of the company include biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies including Pfizer, Biogen, GE Healthcare, Genentech, and Gilead Sciences.

Many of the company’s engineers are located on-site ensuring that customers always remain in compliance with manufacturing standards specified by the FDA and other regulatory organizations. Superior Controls was founded in 1993 and has approximately 135 employees with offices in Seabrook, NH (headquarters); Albany, NY; Vacaville, CA; and South San Francisco, CA (www.superiorcontrols.com).

E-Technologies Group (E-Tech) specializes in automation, information systems, machine safety, machine and process modeling, and system simulations to companies in the life sciences, data center, parcel, metals, and consumer packaged goods sectors. The company, led by CEO Ralph Carter, was founded in 1993 and is headquartered north of Cincinnati in West Chester, OH (www.etech-group.com).

With the closing of this add-on acquisition, ETech now has more than 400 employees, including approximately 350 engineers and project professionals. Superior Controls’ co-founder and president Rick Pierro will become president of ETech’s life sciences solutions vertical, which will go to market under the Superior Controls name.

“Superior Controls is the largest pure-play provider of systems integration services to the life sciences market and represents another significant step in ETech’s goal of building a national platform in the automation space,” said Marc Oken, chairman of Falfurrias Capital Partners. “We believe ETech’s potential is significant given secular trends such as the rapid adoption of automation technology across industries and robust growth in the life sciences vertical, and we look forward to working with Ralph and Rick to leverage opportunities for organic and inorganic growth.”

Falfurrias makes equity investments in growth-oriented middle-market companies that have revenues in excess of $10 million and EBITDAs in excess of $2 million. Industries of interest are many, but the firm has specific interest in automation; financial services; consumer products; health care; building products; diversified manufacturing; business services; education, training, and information services; and infrastructure services.

In February 2019, Falfurrias closed its latest fund, Falfurrias Capital Partners IV LP, at its hard cap of $500 million. The firm’s earlier fund closed with $275 million of capital in March 2017. Falfurrias was founded in 2006 by Hugh McColl Jr., former chairman and CEO of Bank of America, and Marc Oken, former CFO of Bank of America, and is based in Charlotte, NC (www.falfurriascapital.com).

DFW acquired Superior Controls in March 2016 through its fourth fund. “DFW has been an excellent partner for Superior and its management team over the past three years,” said Mr. Pierro. “Their strategic advice and direction were invaluable to allow the growth and expansion of our footprint.”

DFW invests in service companies, with an emphasis on healthcare and outsourced business and industrial support services, that have revenues of $20 million to $150 million and EBITDA of $5 million to $15 million. DFW typically invests from $20 million to $75 million of capital in each of its platform acquisitions but can lead larger deals with the support of its institutional co-investors.

In March 2019, DFW held an oversubscribed first and final closing of its sixth fund, DFW Capital Partners VI LP, at the fund’s hard cap of $500 million. The firm is headquartered in Teaneck, NJ, and has an additional office in Chevy Chase, MD (www.dfwcapital.com).

Lincoln International (www.lincolninternational.com) was the financial advisor to Superior on this transaction.

© 2019 Private Equity Professional | April 18, 2019

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