Frontenac Acquires GNAP

Frontenac Acquires GNAP

GNAP Nf2Frontenac Company has completed the majority recapitalization of GNAP, a specialty abrasives distributor.  This is Frontenac’s fourth investment from its tenth investment fund, which closed in 2014.

GNAP is a national distributor of industrial abrasive products, equipment, specialty ceramics used in casting, metal stamping, machining, forging, remediation, coating and paving applications. The company’s products primarily include blasting media, tumbling media, coated abrasives, specialty ceramic materials, chemicals, metallurgical additives, abrasive equipment, and repair replacement parts. GNAP sources products globally and distributes from over 20 locations across the United States. The company is headquartered just south of Grand Rapids in Byron Center, MI (

“Our partnership with Frontenac Company will give GNAP the additional financial and operating resources to continue to help us continue to grow our business, and expand what my partner Mike Trotta and I have established,” said GNAP Chief Executive Officer, Mike Currie. “We have found the right partner in Frontenac, which has a history of providing solutions to founder-owned businesses, a strategy of working with seasoned executives, and a track record of successfully growing enterprises like ours.”

Frontenac Company invests in lower middle businesses that operate primarily in the business services, industrial, food, and healthcare industries.  Frontenac has completed over 25 buyout transactions and nearly 60 add-on acquisitions since 2000, and has made over 225 founder-owner investments across nine private equity funds.  The firm was founded in 1971 and is headquartered in Chicago (

paul carbery nf1“With its high quality products and full range of support services, GNAP is a clear leader within its industry, and the investment represents a promising platform for future growth,” said Paul Carbery, a Managing Partner at Frontenac Company. “We look forward to working with Mike Currie, Mike Trotta and the leadership team to deliver enhanced value added products to existing customers and to expand distribution.”

As part of the recapitalization, veteran industrial and distribution executives, Bob Grubbs and Al Swanson have joined the Board of Directors of GNAP. Mr. Grubbs is the former Chief Executive Officer of Anixter International, a global supplier of communications and security products.  He served as CEO for 14 years before retiring in 2008, and he remains a member of Anixter’s Board of Directors.  Mr. Swanson formerly held various executive positions at US Foods, including Chief Financial Officer and Director. He currently serves as Director at Great North Imports, Next Day Gourmet, Trans-Porte, and E & H Distributing.

Wells Fargo Securities acted as financial advisor to GNAP.  Katten Muchin Rosenman served as legal counsel to Frontenac Company.

© 2015 PEPD • Private Equity’s Leading News Magazine • 1-8-15

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