Investors are backing Erie, Pa.-based F&S Tool Inc., saying the 37-year-old company that serves the medical and packaging markets is at a critical juncture to support its blue chip customers.
NewHold Enterprises LLC and its partners at Tecum Capital Partners announced an investment in the family-owned business, which operates out of a 90,000-square-foot facility that has seen several upgrades in recent years.
Financial terms of the transaction, announced Sept. 9, were not disclosed.
F&S Tool specializes in high-output, high-efficiency injection and compression molds, including stack and cube molds with high-cavity applications to produce volume products — such as complicated caps and components —with short cycle times.
"We feel very fortunate to be partnering with F&S at an inflection point in the businesses' evolution, and for domestic manufacturing more broadly, where we see more complex areas of the critical supply chain coming back home," Kevin Charlton, co-chairman of NewHold, said in a news release. "For various reasons, the F&S value proposition is more relevant than ever, and we look forward to supporting the company's growth through this period and beyond."
F&S Tool began growing physically in 2014 with a 30,000-square-foot expansion to bolster internal plate production. Two years later, the company added another 25,000 square feet for a turnkey molding development center with 20 injection molding machine bays for product sampling and certification, short- and medium-run production and post-molding automation.
In 2017, F&S Tool showed off its 2x8 cube mold for a proprietary line of pharmaceutical containers.
Now the company has support from Tecum, a private equity firm in Pittsburgh, and NewHold, a New York-based investment holding company and direct investment platform focused on middle market companies since 2017.
Tecum typically invests $5 million to $20 million. Firm officials said they partnered with NewHold to support F&S's second-generation leaders, brothers Mike and J.D. Faulkner.
"F&S represents another opportunity to partner with a passionate and proven management team, alongside an experienced sponsor right in our back yard in an industry we know well. Mike and J.D.'s commitment to the company and its employees highlights the partnership mentality we look for in our management teams," Stephen Gurgovits Jr., managing partner of Tecum, said in another news release.
Matt Harnett, a Tecum partner, added: "The historical durability of the business, along with the current organic growth trajectory and industry tailwinds, gets the team excited. There is an impressive amount of industry knowledge around this business across the management team, investor group, and our operator network. We look forward to leveraging these resources into sustainable growth and continued success."
For NewHold, the firm is building its third platform around manufacturing following investments in the non-hazardous liquid waste industry in 2018 and architecture and engineering services in 2019.
F&S is a good fit, according to CEO J.D. Faulkner.
"F&S has built a reputation of outpacing our competition through innovation and virtual engineering, producing precise, highly reliable, durable, fast-cycling molds that deliver a superior return on investment to customers," Faulkner said in the release. "These areas helped F&S experience tremendous growth within the medical and packaging markets. The primary goal of our dedicated team is to solve custom problems, and this new partnership allows us to access broader experience and capital to help support our continued growth."