Presco Polymers Adds On Again

Presco Polymers, a portfolio company of River Associates since February 2019, has acquired William Frick & Company.

William Frick is a designer, manufacturer, and reseller of labeling and marking products including custom labels, signs, tags, markers, nameplates, and radio frequency identification (RFID) products used in the utility (electric, telecommunications, cablevision), OEM, aerospace, logistics, and asset management industries.

William Frick was founded in 1975 and is based north of Chicago in Libertyville, Illinois.

Presco is a manufacturer of commercial marking products including barricade tape, roll flagging, marking flags, and Krylon marking paint. In addition to its marking products, Presco also compounds and extrudes flexible vinyl film that is sold to other manufacturers who utilize it in the making of medical products, brattice material (mining partitions), laminate flooring, military tents, and awnings.

In December 2019, Presco acquired Pro Line Safety Products, a West Chicago, Illinois-based manufacturer of tracer wire and detectable marking tapes used in underground utility applications, from Pro-Pak Industries. Presco, founded in 1942 by Robert “Earl” McMackin as Precision Specialties Company, is today led by CEO Lisa McGregor and is headquartered north of Dallas in Sherman, Texas.

“Presco is pleased to announce its recent acquisition of William Frick & Company,” said Ms. McGregor. “For the past few years, Presco’s mission has been to become the leading provider of safety marking and damage prevention products. The acquisition of Frick brings us one step closer to accomplishing this goal. The combination of resources, services and extension of products opens numerous opportunities for both entities.”

“Having worked for 30-plus years growing a successful company, my business partner and I knew the value of our business very well but had virtually no experience with strategic transactions and how to maximize that value in the market,” said Jeff Brandt, the president of William Frick. “Bob Contaldo and the entire XLCS team guided us through the financial, operational, and emotional issues surrounding our decision to sell our business while creating a mutual trust between us worthy of titling them our “Third Partner” for the duration of the deal.”

Chattanooga, Tennessee-based River Associates invests in US and Canadian-based companies with revenues of $20 million to $100 million and EBITDA of $3 million to $12 million.  Sectors of interest include niche manufacturing, high margin distribution, industrial services, and business services. The firm is investing out of its seventh fund, River VII LP, which closed in June 2017 with commitments of $285 million. The buy of Yale is the firm’s 99th transaction since its founding in 1989.

The buy of Frick by Presco closed in December 2020. River Associates and Presco continue to seek other complementary add-on acquisitions.

XLCS Partners, a middle-market investment bank, was the financial advisor to William Frick. The transaction was led by Managing Partner Bob Contaldo.

© 2021 Private Equity Professional | February 17, 2021

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