Expect double-digit annual growth in the years ahead for Technimark LLC, according to the company's majority owner.
And the Pritzker Group is putting the financial muscle behind the Asheboro, N.C.-based company to help make that happen along with members of senior management, including the founding Wellington family, who continue to hold a minority stake in the firm.
“The thing we liked about Technimark when we decided to partner with the Wellington family to buy the business, is the fact that it really is a technological leader in injection molding. It is a global company and it had a lot of great growth prospects. But those growth prospects require capital,” Michael Nelson, investment partner in the private capital team at Pritzker Group.
It was last spring that Chicago-based Pritzker bought into the company, seeing an opportunity to make an already large company even bigger.
“Technimark has a very robust pipeline of growth opportunities with its existing customer base and with new customers. But they needed capacity to service that growth,” Nelson said.
“So the management team has done a great job of taking that pipeline and converting it from opportunity to real customers, and we followed with investing with the property, plant and equipment to support that new customer growth,” he said.
Nelson's job is to help his private investment firm sniff out opportunities in the packaging sector. He likes what he sees with Technimark and the potential to expand even deeper into the sector. Along with packaging, Technimark also serves the healthcare and industrial products segments.
“We view packaging as a great opportunity to invest behind market leading businesses. I'd be hopeful that Technimark is only the first investment of many we would make in the packaging sector,” Nelson said. He sees potential for both acquisitions and organic growth.
Pritzker Group is led by Tony Pritzker and J.B. Pritzker, two members of the famous Pritzker family that made billions thanks, in part, to Hyatt hotels.
Using their own money, the Pritzkers feel no pressure to flip investments after a set period of time, unlike traditional private equity firms that often look to cash out of their investments after maybe five to seven years.
This investing approach allows the Pritzkers to take a long-term view.
“It's difficult for a traditional private equity firm to invest a lot of capital along the way, especially toward the tail end of their investment period because they just won't get a return on that capital,” Nelson said.
At Pritzker Group, the view is different.
“Businesses that need a lot of capital to grow, we love, as long as there's good return on that capital. Whereas a traditional private equity firm that may be looking to sell in a couple of years isn't going to be willing to write a very big check to invest in that plant because they know they won't get a return on that capital,” Nelson said.
“Technimark certainly has had plans for global expansion as part of its core strategy. That's what we really liked about it,” he said.
The packaging firm, Nelson said, sees part of its future growth tied in with the growth of large consumer product brands that are seeking to do business with fewer packaging partners throughout the world.
Just in the first year of the new ownership structure, Technimark has opened a new $5 million manufacturing site in Silao, Mexico, its third in that country. Plans are to eventually expand the current 93,000 square feet to 160,000 as business grows. Technimark also announced plans for expanded operations in Aachen, Germany, and Suzhou, China, since the Pritzker deal.
“Our locations are driven by where our customers are asking us to have a presence,” Nelson said.