Biding time through the COVID-fueled manufacturing downturn may be the final growing pain for ProFusion Industries, a Fairlawn, Ohio-based company that has spent the last several years securing its footing as a free-standing operation.
ProFusion makes vinyl flooring and step treads for buses and transit systems, industrial matting products, and thermoplastic sheeting and films that are used in a variety of applications.
The product line originally was part of B.F. Goodrich Co., but it has changed hands three times over its 70-year history, most recently falling into the grasp of "a combination/partnership between management and private investors in Texas," according to CEO Alex Williamson.
Terms of the June acquisition were not disclosed.
"This is a group of private investors that knew the business though some other transactions, knew [former owner] Peak Rock Capital and felt the time was right to do this deal now," Williamson said.
Peak Rock, an Austin, Texas-based private equity firm, formed ProFusion shortly after its 2014 acquisition of RJF International Corp., a fabricated polymers company started by late B.F. Goodrich Co. employee Richard Fasenmyer. Williamson said Peak Rock carved RJF International into two businesses: ProFusion, on the industrial products side, and Koroseal Interior Products, which is "more of a pure play on the commercial wall covering side."
In late 2016, Peak Rock sold Koroseal to Sangetsu USA Inc., a subsidiary of Sangetsu Corp. of Japan. Less than two years later, it recruited Williamson, a Myers Industries executive and 25-year industrial manufacturing veteran, to propel ProFusion forward.
Williamson said "substantial operational improvements" aimed at increasing efficiency and safety at the company's Marietta manufacturing plant was one of two big initiatives his team undertook.
"There were some capital upgrades that we made that allowed us to run the equipment more efficiently, but there were also cultural elements to that, challenging paradigms, particularly in terms of, 'This is the way we've always done things,'" he said.