Water-Jel Goes to Water Street

Water-Jel Technologies, a portfolio company of Pilgrim Capital Partners, has been acquired by Safeguard Medical, a portfolio company of Water Street Healthcare. Pilgrim and Brookside Mezzanine acquired Water-Jel in June 2016 from The Riverside Company.

Water-Jel is a manufacturer of branded and private label medical products, specializing in emergency first aid burn care products and over-the-counter pharmaceutical preparations.

The company’s product portfolio includes burn care blankets, dressings and gels, non-emergency burn care products, first aid products, ointments, creams and sprays sold to the industrial and retail markets, the US military, emergency medical service providers, and Formula-1 Racing. Water-Jel was founded in 1980 and is based outside of New York in Carlstadt, New Jersey.

Safeguard Medical was formed by Water Street in February 2020 through the merger of Combat Medical, a North Carolina-based provider of kitted emergency medical products used by military and law enforcement organizations; Prometheus Medical, a United Kingdom-based provider of emergency medical products and training services to military organizations, government agencies, civilians and corporations; and Trauma FX, a United Kingdom-based provider of training mannequins, wearable wounds, and other simulation services used to create realistic scenarios for life-saving skills training programs.

The buy of Water-Jel adds emergency burn care products to Safeguard’s product portfolio and extends its manufacturing capabilities with the addition of an FDA-registered, ISO-certified manufacturing facility.

“Water-Jel’s clinical expertise and leading position in emergency burn care solutions strengthen our ability to support every type of first responder, including civilians who are increasingly being called to action,” said Adam Johnson, chief executive officer of Safeguard Medical. “We will continue to build our portfolio of products and capabilities to achieve our goal of ensuring responders at every skill level and in any environment are equipped with the best tools and training to save lives.”

Westport, Connecticut-based Pilgrim Capital invests in companies with revenues between $10 million to $100 million and EBIT in excess of $2 million. The firm invests across the United States but prefers opportunities located on the East Coast and in the Midwest. Pilgrim was founded in 2006 by its partners Christopher Daley and Christopher Wright.

Brookside supported Pilgrim’s acquisition of Water-Jel in June 2016 with both subordinated debt and an equity co-investment. “Brookside Mezzanine Partners was an important financing partner and we appreciate their support over the last four years,” said Mr. Daley.

Brookside Mezzanine Partners invests from $5 million to $20 million in companies with revenues of at least $15 million and EBITDA of at least $3 million. Sectors of interest include niche manufacturing, specialty distribution, business services, transportation and logistics, healthcare services and consumer packaged goods. Brookside was founded in 2001 and has offices in Stamford, Connecticut and Boston, Massachusetts.

“We were delighted to have had the opportunity to work with Pilgrim Capital Partners and the Water-Jel team and are pleased with the attractive investment outcome for our limited partners,” said David Buttolph, managing partner and founder of Brookside. “We wish the team at Water-Jel further success as they continue to execute on their growth strategy.”

Chicago-based Water Street invests from $50 million to $500 million in companies that are active in four healthcare sectors: medical and diagnostic products; specialty distribution; health care services; and specialty pharmaceutical products and services.  The firm specializes in corporate divestitures from healthcare companies.

Private Equity Professional | May 14, 2020

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