LFM Keeps Building Eckhart

LFM Keeps Building Eckhart

Eckhart, a portfolio company of LFM Capital, has acquired Gasper Engineering. This is the sixth add-on acquisition for Eckhart since being acquired by LFM in June 2015.

Gasper Engineering designs, builds, and integrates automated assembly, conveyance, labeling, and sortation systems for companies that are active in the aerospace, automotive, life science, packaging, and power generation & distribution sectors. Gasper’s customers include Cummins, Honeywell, Schneider Electric, Aisin, GECOM, FOX, and Grote. The company was founded in 1999 by Stephen Gasper and is based in North Vernon, IN (www.gasperengineering.com).

“Gasper Engineering is proud of the strong reputation we’ve earned integrating highly engineered automation into the most technologically advanced industrial environments in the world,” said Mr. Gasper. “As an Industry 4.0 leader, Eckhart’s advanced technologies complement our core business and their turn-key suite of solutions bring real value to our customers.”

Industry 4.0 refers to the current trend of automation and data exchange in manufacturing technologies. The goal of Industry 4.0 is the creation of “smart factories” that utilize cyber-physical systems, the Internet of things, cloud computing and cognitive computing. Industry 4.0 is commonly referred to as the fourth industrial revolution.

Eckhart is a designer and manufacturer of autonomous guided vehicles; industrial robotic systems; manufacturing tool development and production; and ergonomic general assembly tooling products. The company’s customers include Honda, Toyota, Nestle, CertainTeed, General Electric, FedEx, Procter & Gamble, Kroger, and Allison Transmission. Eckhart is led by CEO Andy Storm and is headquartered near Detroit in Warren, MI (www.eckhartusa.com).

“As global markets continue to experience volatility and change, establishing a local presence close to customers will remain a high priority for Eckhart,” said Mr. Storm. “Gasper Engineering will help us accelerate the adoption of Industry 4.0 in a key region of the United States where long-term growth opportunities in non-cyclical industries are significant.”

In January 2019, Eckhart closed its fifth add-on acquisition with the buy PRI Robotics & Automation, a robotic systems integrator. PRI designs, builds, and integrates robotic systems for applications that include machine tending, assembly, dispensing, material removal, arc welding, and quality inspection. The company’s customers are active in the agriculture, refrigerated transportation, medical device, automotive, and outdoor/recreational industries and include Honeywell, Medtronic, Federal Mogul, Case New Holland, ThermoKing, Toro, Horton, Bobalee, and Post Consumer Brands. PRI was founded in 1995 and is based near Minneapolis in Plymouth, MN (www.prirobotics.com).

LFM invests in US-based manufacturing and industrial services companies with at least $3 million of EBITDA and enterprise values from $15 million to $125 million. In October 2018, LFM closed its second fund, LFM Capital Partners II LP, with $184 million in capital commitments. The firm’s earlier fund closed in October 2014 with $110 million of capital commitments. LFM was formed in May 2014 by Steve Cook, Rick Reisner, and Dan Shockley and is headquartered in Nashville (www.lfmcapital.com).

© 2019 Private Equity Professional | February 15, 2019

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