Following through with estate planning for its company, the Kremer family is selling signage and engraving materials firm Rowmark Inc. of Findlay to management with backing from private investment firm Clearview Capital LLC of Old Greenwich, Conn.
The deal is to be finalized by December. Terms were not disclosed.
In an Oct. 3 telephone interview, Rowmark President and Chief Executive Officer Duane Jebbett said the company will look for acquisitions under its new ownership.
``With Clearview being our financial partner, we'll be able to grow the business faster,'' he said.
Romark's custom extrusion division, Premier Material Concepts, is growing, which will continue, Jebbett said.
``We'll continue to augment that and the Rowmark side as well. I would be wrong to tell you that we would be limited in anything,'' he said.
Jebbett would not disclose what percentage of the firm will be owned by Clearview or management, nor would he name which members of management are involved in the transaction. He did, however, say that all management and employees will stay with the company and that he will continue as president and CEO.
One industry consultant said Rowmark's external growth opportunities are outstanding, including growth into Europe. The company is known as one of the premier manufacturers of multi-layer sheet and laminates, said Bill Ridenour, president of Polymer Transaction Advisors Inc. of Newbury, Ohio.
``The management team is very strong, capable of handling many times the business that they have,'' he said in an Oct. 3 telephone interview. ``Private equity groups do not want to lose management teams. The last thing they want to do is see a management team leave.''
Rowmark was started in 1987 as a division of Hancor Inc., a pipe extruder now owned by Advanced Drainage Systems Inc. of Hilliard, Ohio. According to Rowmark, former Hancor Chief Executive Officer Fred Kremer bought Rowmark from Hancor and started moving it to a new facility in Findlay. Fred Kremer and two other employees were killed in a private plane crash in 1997.
The Kremer family continued to operate the company, then appointed Jebbett its president in 1998.
``What we tried to do, what the Kremer family wanted to do for the management group and for this company, was to perpetuate Fred Kremer's legacy,'' Jebbett said. ``Clearview gives us that ability.''
Asked if the move is necessary to remain competitive in the increasingly global plastics industry, Jebbett said, ``I don't think it's a necessary step for the company. We are faced with some estate planning issues for the company.''
Rowmark operates out of more than 75,000 square feet of space and has extrusion, press, lamination and hot-stamp capabilities. Clearview Capital's portfolio in plastics includes Compression Polymers Group/Vycom of Moosic, Pa.