Crestview Partners LP has jumped into the mold and tooling sector — a place where few private equity companies have gone — to purchase Concours Mold Inc., a big Canadian automotive mold maker with a multinational footprint.
And the New York-based Crestview wants to buy more mold makers.
"Certainly, we're looking to deploy meaningful capital in this industry," said Alex Rose, a partner in Crestview who co-heads the firm's industrial investments area.
The acquisition of Concours Mold, completed May 30 for undisclosed terms, is the first step in a strategy to invest $200 million to acquire and integrate tooling and mold companies to build a global business with differentiated software simulation, machine learning and 3D printing capabilities, Crestview officials said.
"There is a compelling opportunity to create a global technology leader in the highly fragmented tooling and mold industry," Rose said. "Identifying niche industries which have not yet seen the emergence of a global leader is a core focus of Crestview's industrials investment strategy."
Concours is based in Lakeshore, Ontario, near Windsor — a center of automotive mold making. Concours is the fifth-largest mold and tooling maker in North America, according to Plastics News data, with $95 million in sales and 375 employees.
The mold maker has plants in Lakeshore; Cullman, Ala., and Huejotzingo, Mexico.
Toolmaker Mark Goggin founded Concours Mold in 1994. His sons, Dennis and Kenny Goggins, will remain with the company in their current roles, Dennis as vice president of manufacturing engineering and Kenny as deputy chief financial officer.
Andy Aiton will continue as president of Concours Mold.
Jason Luo, former chairman and CEO of Ford Motor Co.'s operations in China, will serve as chairman of Concours. He will work closely with newly recruited CEO Tony Nardone. Both men previously worked together at Key Safety Systems Inc., a maker of air bags, seat belts and safety systems — Luo as CEO and Nardone as president of the Americas.
Crestview and the Key Safety Systems management team bought Key in 2007 and sold it in 2016.
Luo also is a senior adviser at Crestview. "Concours is the first of many companies we hope to bring together to create a market leader with operations throughout North America, Europe and Asia," he said.
Crestview Partners manages funds with about $9 billion of aggregate capital commitments. The firm focuses on middle-market companies.