Boston private equity firm Audax Group has acquired two polyethylene pipe and conduit makers in what amounts to a sizable bet on PE as the future material of choice for protecting buried wire and cable.
Audax bought Dura-Line Corp. from Boca Raton, Fla.-based Sun Capital Partners Inc. The company bought Arnco Corp. from owner and Chief Executive Officer Robert Smith. Audax officials declined to disclose the terms of either purchase.
Combined, Knoxville, Tenn.-based Dura-Line and Elyria, Ohio-based Arnco have more than $100 million in annual sales, according to Audax.
While Arnco and Dura-Line have been competitors to date, each company has a stronger market position in a different end market, with very little overlap, Audax officials said. Dura-Line is a leader in the telecommunications industry. Arnco's major customers are in the power and energy markets.
``With Dura-Line and Arnco we saw the opportunity to combine two businesses with similar products but different end markets.
``Dura-Line's strength in the telecom market combined with Arnco's in power and utility create a global-scale player with diversified end markets,'' said Geoffrey Rehnert, Audax's co-CEO, in an e-mail interview.
Arnco and Dura-Line, for the time being, will continue to run mostly independent of one another, though there's talk of making some Arnco products out of Dura-Line's newest facility - a 40,000-square-foot plant in McAlester, Okla., that opened last year. Smith will serve as chairman of the firms; Dura-Line CEO Paresh Chari will be president and CEO.
Dura-Line has facilities in Middlesboro, Ky.; McAlester; Knoxville; Sparks, Nev.; Queretaro, Mexico; Zlin, Czech Republic; and New Delhi, where according to the company's Web site, it is building a second plant.
Arnco's plants are in Elyria; Graniteville, S.C.; North Salt Lake, Utah; and San Luis Potosí Mexico.
The companies also sell complementary items, including installation equipment for their products.