High Road Acquires John Henry Foster

High Road Capital Partners has acquired John Henry Foster Minnesota (JHFoster), a distributor of automation and motion control products.

JHFoster is a value-added distributor of motion control parts and accessories, compressed air systems, collaborative robots, industrial robotics, and electrical automation products. The company’s customers are Upper Midwest-based manufacturers that are active in the industrial, food and beverage, healthcare, and consumer goods sectors. The company’s value-added capabilities include installation, integration, maintenance and repair services. JHFoster was founded in 1938 and is headquartered near Minneapolis in Eagan, MN with an additional facility in Fargo, ND (www.jhfoster.com).

“High Road has significant expertise with industrial distribution businesses and a proven track record of building market leaders,” said Jan Hawkins, president of JHFoster. “Their investment will allow us to expand the growth of our business while continuing to provide an outstanding level of service.” Ms. Hawkins will continue to lead the company post-closing and will join the company’s board of directors. Ms. Hawkins and other members of JHFoster’s senior management team participated in the transaction alongside High Road.

“The acquisition of this differentiated regional market leader builds upon our strong experience in value-added distribution and advanced manufacturing,” said Ben Schnakenberg, a partner at High Road. “With its extensive inventory and sought-after design, integration and technical expertise, JHFoster is well positioned to capitalize on small and mid-sized manufacturers’ flourishing interest and investment in automated manufacturing systems.”

Mr. Schnakenberg led the transaction for High Road and was assisted by Operating Partner Nick Martino, Vice President Eojin Lee, Senior Associate Tom Cassidy, and Associate Anthony Tripodoro.

“We are excited to partner with JHFoster, which has the potential to achieve significant growth, both organically and through strategic add-on acquisitions, and support the company in expanding its geographic presence and broadening its product and service offerings,” added Mr. Schnakenberg.

High Road invests in manufacturing, service, or value-added distribution businesses with revenues of $10 million to $100 million and EBITDAs of $3 million to $10 million.  The firm has completed 52 transactions – 20 platform investments, 25 add-on acquisitions and 7 exits – since its founding in 2007.  High Road is based in New York (www.highroadcap.com).

The buy of JHFoster is the tenth platform acquisition for High Road Capital Partners Fund II LP which closed in December 2013 with $320 million in capital commitments.

BMO Capital Markets was the advisor to JHFoster.

© 2019 Private Equity Professional | June 5, 2019

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