CenterOak Forms SurfacePrep

CenterOak Partners has formed SurfacePrep as a new platform to combine its investments in GNAP and 10 add-on acquisitions completed over the past 18 months. CenterOak acquired GNAP, a specialty distributor of industrial products, from Frontenac in November 2018.

GNAP is a national distributor of industrial abrasive products, equipment, specialty ceramics and provides ancillary services to more than 5,000 companies – from local industrial end-users to Fortune 500 manufacturing companies – that are active in investment casting, metal stamping, machining, forging, remediation, coating and paving. The company was formed in 2005 through a merger between Grand Northern Products and Abrasive Products and is headquartered near Grand Rapids in Byron Center, Michigan.

Included in the 10 add-on acquisitions is today’s buy of Sacramento, California-based Temple Associates (DBA The Grit Guy), a distributor of loose abrasives and blast equipment.

With its formation, the SurfacePrep network now includes 36 distribution branches, process development labs and production finishing centers located in major manufacturing hubs across the United States and Canada.

“Since partnering with CenterOak 18 months ago, SurfacePrep has been actively expanding to better serve its customers in key manufacturing regions throughout North America,” said Jason Sutherland, a partner with CenterOak. “Through organic growth and strategic acquisitions, SurfacePrep has doubled EBITDA and significantly expanded its distribution footprint to become the leading distributor of specialty abrasives, ceramics, and surface enhancement equipment in North America.”

Dallas-headquartered CenterOak makes equity investments of $20 million to $90 million in companies with enterprise values of $50 million to $250 million. Sectors of interest include industrial manufacturing and distribution, business services, and consumer products and services.

“The formation of SurfacePrep is an important milestone in building the market-leading provider of surface enhancement solutions in North America,” said Mike Currie, CEO of SurfacePrep. “Our recent acquisition efforts enable us to offer significant industry expertise, geographic reach and technical capabilities to our customers and our global supply chain partners.”

CenterOak continues to seek add-on acquisitions of companies that distribute industrial abrasives or specialty ceramics or provide finishing services to aerospace or medical device manufacturers.

Private Equity Professional | May 12, 2020

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