Flat extrusion and coating dies manufacturer Extrusion Dies Industries LLC has agreed to be acquired by private equity firm Bertram Capital Management LLC. Terms were not disclosed.
Bertram of San Mateo, Calif., said it expected to assume ownership of Chippewa Falls, Wis.-based EDI on Dec. 31, according to a Dec. 22 news release.
Bertram takes control of EDI from a group headed by four investors who engineered a management buyout in 2003.
One of those owners, President John Ulcej, will stay at EDI in a leadership role after the deal closes.
In a Dec. 22 telephone interview, Ulcej said EDI can benefit from resources Bertram brings to the partnership.
There are a tremendous amount of opportunities. [Bertram] wants to take the business to a new level. Their vision combined with where we are as a company makes sense, he said. I get to continue to put my knowledge of engineering, design and manufacturing to use, so it's an exciting move for me, Ulcej said.
In the seven-year period since the management buyout, EDI has claimed several successes:
* The company expanded operations at home and overseas, and established a technical design center at its headquarters.
* It developed innovative products including its sculpted Contour Die for cast film, and die systems that produce films with multiple, very thin microlayers.
* It acquired Liberty Coating Systems, a manufacturer of slot-die coating systems in Sussex, Wis., and Quality Machine, a Chippewa Falls-based firm that reworked blown film dies, and built and reworked chrome-plated winding rolls.
* EDI made progress on thin films that make up the electrically active layers in batteries used for electric-drive automobiles and in flexible photovoltaic panels for solar power generation.
Since that 2003 management buyout, EDI has undergone double-digit annual growth, and its yearly sales are now more than 125 percent of those in 2003, according to the company. EDI does not disclose actual sales.
EDI specializes in building and reworking flat dies used to produce plastic film and sheet or to apply coatings onto various substrates.
The company has been based in Chippewa Falls since it was founded in 1971, but today sells more than half of its dies in over 50 countries outside the U.S.
EDI subsidiaries include EDI GmbH in Reichshof-Wehnrath, Germany, and EDI China in Shanghai. In the U.S., Germany, and China, EDI operates facilities dedicated to reworking its own dies and those built by other suppliers, and has licensed a fourth rework facility in Japan.
We are extremely excited to have the opportunity to work with the EDI team and participate in its future growth, Kevin Yamashita, a partner at Bertram, said in the news release. The company is uniquely positioned in the industry, thanks to its engineering experience, products and long-standing customer relationships that are core to its ongoing success.
Bertram manages about $850 million in capital. Its holdings include Tyden Group, a manufacturer of plastic and metal security, identification, tracing and utility products based in Circleville, Ohio.
In addition to Ulcej, the other three EDI owners have been Chairman Timothy Callahan, Vice Chairman Christopher Curtin and Vice Chairman Ronald Kuhnen.
Ulcej said EDI's management team and 240 employees in the U.S., Europe and Asia will remain in place.