In a deal between two active plastics investors, Wind Point Partners has sold compounder Aurora Plastics LLC to Nautic Partners for an undisclosed price.
Aurora is a compounder of PVC and thermoplastic elastomers based in Streetsboro, Ohio. Nautic of Providence, R.I., is making the acquisition in partnership with Aurora management, officials said in an Aug. 11 news release.
Aurora CEO Officer Darrell Hughes and the senior executive team will continue to lead the company. Officials said the deal "sets the stage for [Aurora's] next phase of innovation and growth."
In an Aug. 11 phone interview, Hughes said that Nautic "has great experience on the industrial side in the plastics space," including its previous ownership of sheet maker Spartech LLC.
He added that Nautic "has a lot of dry powder to invest, and that will allow us to continue to build a world-class polymer compounding franchise, not just in vinyl, but also in TPEs and [thermoplastic olefins] and other materials as well."
Chicago-based Wind Point had owned a majority of Aurora since 2016, in partnership with company management and the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan, a Canadian investment group. Aurora made four acquisitions while owned by Wind Point, most recently buying Elastocon TPE Technologies of Springfield, Ill., in early 2019.
Aurora has posted strong results in 2021, in spite of supply chain challenges that are facing the entire industry.
"Things were looking bleak in 2020, but we've had a great year in 2021," Hughes said. "We've been able to build on recovery dynamics."
In addition to Streetsboro, Aurora has manufacturing plants in North Carolina, Quebec, Massachusetts, and Texas. The firm employs around 200.
Other senior management team members remaining with Aurora include Mike Klein, Matthew Kuwatch, Keith Dunlap, Jeff Conard, Scott Hornsby, Jimmy Flynn and Bill Trask. Hughes said that more management members and employees will have ownership stakes under Nautic than did under Wind Point.
Wind Point has been an active buyer and seller of plastics firms for many years. Most recently, the firm in September 2020 bought a majority stake in Houston-based RTIC Outdoors LLC, a major online seller of plastic coolers and other outdoor products.
In May, Nautic sold its majority stake in Spartech to the Jordan Co. LP. Nautic retains a minority stake in Maryland Heights, Mo.-based Spartech. Under Nautic's ownership, Spartech in December acquired films maker Tufpak Inc. of Ossipee, N.H.
Nautic made two other plastics deals in 2020. The firm in February bought plastics products distributor Harrington Industrial Plastics LLC of Chino, Calif., then used Harrington to buy Aetna Plastics of Valley View, Ohio, in July.
Nautic is a middle-market private equity firm that focuses on health care, industrials, and services. The firm has completed more than 140 platform transactions in its 35-plus year history.