Continuim Equity Partners has sold Anker Industries, a manufacturer and distributor of metallurgical additives used by steel producers, to Opta Group, a portfolio company of Speyside Equity Advisers.
Anker Industries is a manufacturer of new and recycled metallurgical additives including deoxidizer briquettes, slag conditioners, insulators, tundish fluxes, and petroleum coke. The company also provides aluminum processing and slag design services for steel mills, ferrous foundries and non-ferrous metals producers throughout North America.
Anker was founded in 1975 by the Antonelli family and operates a 200,000 square-foot facility located 12 miles east of Pittsburgh in Turtle Creek, Pennsylvania. Continuim acquired Anker in July 2021.
“Pittsburgh’s rich steelmaking history and Anker’s proven history of successful cash flow generation as a differentiated supplier to the domestic steel market made the company an ideal acquisition,” said George Pilafas, the managing partner of Continuim. “Anker was a foundational investment for our firm, and we are proud to have successfully implemented our Operational Playbook to grow the company and to carry on the company’s legacy. Together with management and the loyal employees at Anker, Continuim has transformed the company, and we are confident that Opta Group is the right partner to drive Anker’s continued growth.”
Opta Group, through its operating subsidiaries Opta and SKW, is a supplier of materials and chemicals used in the steel, construction, aluminum, glass, foundry, and water-waste water industries. The company, led by CEO John Dietrich, has production and distribution facilities throughout the United States (9), Canada (6), Europe (4), Asia (2), Brazil (2) and Mexico (1).
“Anker’s unique manufacturing process expands the portfolio of products and services we can offer,” said Mr. Dietrich. “That allows us to strengthen relationships with our customers as we continue finding new ways to assist with their production and provide optimal performance.”
Speyside acquired publicly traded and Toronto-based Opta Minerals in 2016 through its first fund and took the company private, and a year later Speyside acquired the debt of Munich-based SKW Metallurgie and converted its position to equity and took the company private. In 2019, Speyside merged SKW Metallurgie with Opta Minerals to form Opta Group. In August 2023, Speyside closed Speyside Equity Opportunity Fund, a $620 million continuation fund to support the future growth initiatives of Opta Group. The continuation fund was led by Elliott Investment Management.
“Acquiring Anker shows that Opta’s recent recapitalization allows the company to become a premier specialty chemicals platform servicing the metallurgical, glass, and concrete end markets,” said Eric Wiklendt, Opta’s chairman.
Speyside Equity makes control investments in middle-market businesses with revenues of less than $500 million and histories of profitability. Targeted portfolio companies often have balance-sheet, legal, environmental, labor, or transactional complexity causing financial or operational stress. Sectors of interest include specialty chemicals and minerals, metal forming and fabrication, plastics, building products, and food ingredients. Transaction types include spin-offs and carve-outs of large multinational businesses, industry consolidations, or family-owned businesses. Since closing its first fund in April 2016 with $130 million of capital, Speyside has closed 18 acquisitions across the United States, Canada, and Western Europe. Speyside recently held a first closing of its third institutional fund, Speyside Equity Fund II LP. The firm was founded in 2005 and is headquartered near Detroit in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Continuim, the seller of Anker, invests in family and founder-owned manufacturers, distribution, and industrial maintenance businesses that have $10 million to $50 million of revenue and $3 million to $10 million of EBITDA. Typical transaction types include buyouts and majority recapitalizations. The Pittsburgh-headquartered firm, with committed capital from ex-Fortune 500 level industrial executives, invests across the United States but prefers companies located in western Pennsylvania and the surrounding region.
Brown Gibbons Lang’s metals and advanced metals manufacturing team was the financial advisor to Continuim on this transaction.
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