Riverside Adds to Safety Equipment Platform

​​​​​​​SureWerx, a portfolio company of The Riverside Company since November 2018, has acquired Sure Foot Corporation.

Sure Foot is a provider of lightweight multi-purpose traction aid products, sold under the Due North brand, that fit over footwear to minimize slips and falls on ice and snow. The company was founded in 1984 and is based in Grand Forks, ND.

SureWerx is a supplier of professional tool, equipment and safety products used by workers in the industrial, construction, safety, and automotive aftermarket in North America. Company-owned brand names include JET, American Forge & Foundry, Strongarm, ITC, STARTECH, Pioneer, Ranpro, PeakWorks, KneePro, Jackson Safety, Wilson, ADA Solutions, and Sellstrom. SureWerx, led by CEO Chris Baby, is co-headquartered in Vancouver, BC, and near Chicago in Elgin, IL.

“Adding Due North to our growing world-class portfolio of SureWerx brands propels us toward our goal of becoming a global leader in safety and productivity,” said Mr. Baby. “With its innovative line of traction aids, Due North is a sure fit with our corporate strategy to significantly deepen our offering for the professional and personal protective equipment safety markets in the US, Canada and globally.”

“We’re excited to add Sure Foot into the SureWerx product portfolio,” said Suzy Kriscunas, a managing partner at Riverside. “Leveraging SureWerx’s extensive sales and marketing resources, we can help take an already successful brand like Due North and rapidly expand into additional markets. This acquisition furthers our goal to become a global leader in safety and productivity.”

“Sure Foot has attained its leading market position through a combination of high-quality products recognized for durability and functionality in harsh weather conditions and strong emphasis on customer relationships and service,” said Brad Roberts, a partner at Riverside. “We are excited to partner with Sure Foot to expand its reach and broaden SureWerx’s range of safety products for its customer base.”

Sure Foot is the third add-on acquisition completed by Riverside for SureWerx since acquiring the company in November 2018 from Toronto-based Penfund. In December 2018, SureWerx acquired the Jackson Safety and Wilson Safety brands (welding and personal protective equipment) from Kimberly-Clark Professional; and in March 2019 it acquired ADA Solutions, a Wilmington, MA-based maker of detectable warning surface and way-finding products that comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act and Architectural Barriers Act.

Riverside continues to seek acquisitions of complementary new products and categories for SureWerx.

The Riverside Company is a global private equity firm focused on investing in and acquiring growing businesses valued at up to $400 million. Since its founding in 1988, Riverside has invested in more than 600 transactions and its portfolio includes more than 90 companies. The firm is headquartered in New York.

Working with Ms. Kriscunas and Mr. Roberts on this transaction were Operating Partner Eric Nowlin, Vice President Constantine Elefter, Senior Associate Linda Xu and Associate Tom Wyza. Origination Regional Director Polly Mack sourced the opportunity for Riverside and Partner Anne Hayes helped secure financing.

Aramar Capital Group was the financial advisor to Sure Foot and Golub Capital provided debt financing to support the transaction.

© 2019 Private Equity Professional | November 7, 2019

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