Stephens Making Noise in Acoustics

Stephens Making Noise in Acoustics

The Stephens Group is continuing the build of Catalyst Acoustics Group with the buy of Fräsch, the company’s fifth add-on acquisition.

Fräsch is maker of polyester wall panels, ceiling treatments, baffles, dividers, partitions, and acoustic lighting. The company was founded in 2016 by Gary Nightingale and Slavka Younger-Nightingale and is headquartered in Arlington, Texas.

“This acquisition is very exciting for us,” said Joe Lupone, CEO of Catalyst Acoustics. “Polyester-based products have experienced extraordinary and impressive growth in the acoustics space over the past few years. Fräsch is an exciting innovator and brings the product and technical expertise along with the marketing panache it takes to be a leading brand.”

Stephens began the build of Catalyst Acoustics with the acquisition of Sound Seal in March 2019 from Hamilton Robinson. Four add-on acquisitions quickly followed:

  • Noise Barriers, an Illinois-based maker of acoustical doors and windows (June 2019);
  • Acoustical & Tackable Surfaces, a New Jersey-based manufacturer and installer of acoustical wall and ceiling panels (August 2019);
  • Lamvin, a California-based maker of acoustic fabric wrapped panels (November 2019); and
  • Kinetics, an Ohio-based maker of noise and vibration control products (January 2020).

In tandem with the acquisition of Kinetics, Stephens formed Catalyst Acoustics to consolidate its investments in the noise and vibration control sector.

Today, Catalyst Acoustics manufactures acoustic, seismic, vibration, and noise control products that are sold to and used in a wide range of sectors including industrial, architectural, medical, retail, and entertainment. The company is headquartered 95 miles west of Boston in Agawam, Massachusetts.

“We are pleased to support Catalyst Acoustics in their acquisition and welcome Fräsch to our family of companies,” said Grant Jones, a managing director at Stephens. “The addition of Fräsch and their polyester-based products will not only broaden our product portfolio offering but also bolster our technical expertise, helping us with our goal of delivering world-class noise control solutions.”

Little Rock, Arkansas-based The Stephens Group is a family-office that makes both minority and control investments in public and privately held companies. Sectors of interest include industrial and commercial products and services, specialty distribution, technology infrastructure, and tech-enabled services, B2B food and beverage, and consumer products.

Private Equity Professional | July 16, 2020

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