Norwalk, Conn.-based private equity firm Heartwood Partners sold Woodstock, Ga.-based CMI Ltd. Co. LLC, a manufacturer of marine walls, docks and flood protection products, to the El Segundo, Calif.-based private equity firm Charger Investment Partners.
Founded in 1988, CMI specializes in shoreline protection and marine access products including ShoreGuard-brand vinyl sheet piling to prevent erosion, high density polyethylene lumber, composite pilings, and aluminum pedestrian bridges and docks.
In addition to its corporate offices in Woodstock, CMI operates a sheet piling manufacturing plant in Ball Ground, Ga.; an engineered decking plant in Elgin, Ill.; aluminum fabrication plants in Blaine, Wash., and Sanford, Fla.; and a sales office in Australia.
Charger partnered with management to complete the acquisition, according to a news release about the deal, which closed Dec. 21 and was announced Jan. 17. Financial terms weren't disclosed.
Charger is the perfect partner to continue driving growth and innovation at CMI, according to CMI CEO Doug Zacharias, who noted the company holds 90 percent of the patents for vinyl sheet piling.
"CMI has a long history of innovation, quality and customer service, having pioneered the recycled vinyl sheet piling industry to provide our customers with protection and access solutions," Zacharias said in the release. "Our customer-centric approach provides engineered solutions at a lower total cost of ownership using alternative and sustainable materials. We are extremely excited to partner with Charger and leverage their expertise, operational insights and partnership philosophy to accelerate growth and continue our track record of success."
Charger invests in small and midsized companies primarily in the industrial, services and consumer industries.
Aaron Perlmutter, co-founder and partner at Charger, describes the CMI deal as a partnership with Zacharias and his entire team.
"CMI has an impressive history of leadership within its industry and we admire their focus on sustainability of marine environments. We share management's vision of the future and look forward to supporting the next phase of the company's growth," Perlmutter said.
Heartwood Partners' investments built out a top-tier CMI management team that expanded sales channels, product lines and brands and optimized the production facilities, according to James Sidwa, a partner at Heartwood Partners.
CMI has also completed two add-on acquisitions, expanding the geographic reach of the aluminum fabrication division and entering the high-impact decking market.
"We are very proud of what has been accomplished at CMI over the last five years," Sidwa said in a separate news release. "It has been a pleasure partnering with the management team and assisting with the development of the company. We look forward to watching the business continue its growth trajectory under Doug's leadership as CEO and are pleased to see Duane Bryant continue on CMI's board of directors."
Bryant was CMI's president and CEO from June 2001 to January 2023.
In 2017, CMI management and Capital Partners, which rebranded to Heartwood in 2020, acquired CMI from Crane Group, a family-owned holding company headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, that had owned CMI since 2003.
Heartwood still owns other plastics companies, including Parkway Products, a Greenville, S.C.-based custom injection molder with more than 800 employees at nine facilities in the U.S. and Mexico that specialize in processing high-performance and advanced materials.