IOP Stays Busy

Industrial Opportunity Partners has acquired the stock of PolyVision Corporation from publicly traded Steelcase. The buy of PolyVision is the sixth platform investment for IOP’s third fund and the second platform acquired in 2020.

PolyVision is a manufacturer of ceramic-coated steel used in whiteboards, chalkboards, and architectural cladding. The company is led by CEO Peter Lewchanin and is headquartered north of Atlanta in Johns Creek, Georgia with manufacturing facilities in Okmulgee, Oklahoma and Genk, Belgium.

“I am excited for this next chapter of PolyVision with Industrial Opportunity Partners by our side,” said Mr. Lewchanin. “Since our founding in 1954, PolyVision has helped companies around the world collaborate better with the products we have provided. In architecture, our CeramicSteel has become an integral part of the infrastructure for public spaces such as tunnels, transit and healthcare facilities and more.”

Steelcase acquired publicly traded PolyVision in 2001 at an enterprise value of $176 million (equity value of $73 million, plus $103 million of debt). At that time, PolyVision had annual revenues of $154 million and an EBITDA of $13.9 million.

With the sale to IOP, Norm Young, an operating principal of the firm, will assume the position of chairman of PolyVision. Mr. Young is a member of IOP’s board of operating principals which is comprised of experienced operating executives that work closely with IOP’s portfolio companies. “I am thrilled to be afforded the opportunity to work closely with Peter and the management team at PolyVision in growing their global business,” said Mr. Young. “We believe the team has built solid fundamentals, has a powerful strategy for growth and is poised for continued success.”

The buy of PolyVision is the sixth platform investment for IOP’s third fund, Industrial Opportunity Partners III LP, which closed in July 2017 with $450 million of committed capital. The five earlier Fund III portfolio companies are Creative Foam (acquired in October 2017), a Michigan-based manufacturer of die-cut, formed foam, nonwoven, and other components used in the automotive, medical, and wind energy markets; SignResource (acquired in July 2018), a Tennessee-based designer and manufacturer of exterior and interior signage for retail fuel/convenience store chains; Royston (acquired in March 2018), a Georgia-based designer, manufacturer and installer of check out and merchandising fixtures and equipment; United Poly Systems (acquired in June 2019), a Missouri-based manufacturer of made-to-order high-density polyethylene (HDPE) pipe; and Midwest Paper (acquired in January 2020), a Wisconsin-based maker of recycled containerboard and white paper for book publishing and printing/writing applications.

“The PolyVision opportunity is an example of IOP’s ability to work with corporate sellers to execute complex carve-out transactions,” said Christopher Willis, a director of IOP. “We believe the company has a strong position in its global markets and are excited to partner with Peter and the rest of the management team in continuing to develop new products and grow the company.”

IOP focuses on acquiring middle-market manufacturing and value-added distribution businesses, typically with revenues between $30 million and $400 million. The firm targets businesses with strong product, customer, and market positions and provides both management and operational resources to support sales growth and operational improvements. IOP is headquartered in the Chicago suburb of Evanston.

Steelcase (NYSE: SCS), with annual revenues of $3.4 billion, is a maker of office furniture, architectural and technology products with facilities, offices, and factories in the Americas, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Australia and Africa. The company is led by CEO Jim Keane and is headquartered in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Cowen & Company was the financial advisor to IOP in raising the debt financing for this transaction, which was provided by Guggenheim Partners.

© 2020 Private Equity Professional | February 25, 2020

Print Friendly, PDF & Email