A new private equity fund based near Pittsburgh plans to invest in plastics, energy and manufacturing companies.
The Old Boys Fund has raised $180 million, and initially is looking at injection mold builders, according to Ryan Saari, managing director of Old Boys Capital LLC, the Wexford, Pa.-based firm that is managing the fund.
"Our focus right now is trying to do a rollup of injection mold builders," Saari said in a telephone interview. "We're very interested in that world, and think that is kind of a fragmented subsection of the industry. We've formulated some targets, but also we've had some inbound deal flow."
He added: "It seems like a lot of those founders and presidents of those types of companies are aging. Most of the people we're talking to are 55- to 75-year-old entrepreneurs who have worked for 30 years and want to go golf and fish."
Saari, 37, has worked with other private equity firms that invested in plastics, including thermoforming companies. Most have been in the $10 million to $100 million per year sales range.
"Plastics has definitely been a common theme. We really like plastics in general," Saari said, noting that the fund's board includes people with plastics industry experience.
The fund launched Jan. 1, and Saari expects to announce its first acquisition soon.
"We have three letters of intent out now. I'm trying hard to do deals and put our $180 million to work," he said.
Saari added that the fund is small and flexible.
"We are sitting here in western Pennsylvania, where we have a large Shell [Polymers polyethylene] cracker plant coming in. In general, we are hot on the economy, hot on private equity as an investment tool. Injection tooling is a fragmented market. We don't want to be going after a unicorn. We like the margins and the asset base of those types of companies. We see it as a very sustainable technology."