Bruckmann, Rosser, Sherrill & Co. (BRS) announced today (Nov. 19) that it has sold its portfolio company Airxcel Inc. to One Rock Capital Partners. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed, according to a news release.
“It’s a great transaction,” Airxcel President and CEO Mel Adams told RVBUSINESS.com. “We’ve been absolutely delighted to be partnered with BRS over the years and, of course, their investment funds expect returns at some point. And so, in looking for a new partner for management to be aligned with, One Rock indicated interest and certainly they are a high-quality private equity firm that Airxcel is going to take the next steps of growth with. And we’re really very happy with the outcome of this transaction.”
Airxcel’s management team, led by Adams, COO Jeff Rutherford and CFO Debi Jones, invested in the transaction alongside One Rock and will continue in their current roles.
“We’re especially pleased to continue to be a stand-alone company and in charge of our own destiny,” said Adams, who emphasized that companies interacting with Wichita, Kan.-based Airxcel will see no changes in terms of business practices or personnel. “Really from how people would view this on the outside, it should be totally seamless. Personnel-wise, everyone remains in current positions and continues to guide the company to higher plateaus.”
Airxcel manufactures a broad range of climate control solutions and related products, including air-conditioners, heat pumps, cooking appliances, furnaces, powered vents and water heaters. Airxcel’s products are sold into various end-markets including recreational vehicles, school classrooms, multifamily living, industrial/commercial applications and telecommunication enclosures. The company markets its products under the Coleman-Mach, Suburban, Maxxair and Marvair brand names .
BRS acquired Airxcel in partnership with the Airxcel management team in August 2005. During the period of BRS’s ownership, Airxcel significantly enhanced its market position within its core recreation vehicle end-market. In addition, Airxcel rapidly scaled its Marvair division to become the leading manufacturer of telecommunication shelter climate control solutions for telecom OEMs and installers.
Nicholas Sheppard, a managing director of BRS, commented, “We are delighted with the outcome of our investment and we are proud of the profitable growth and market expansion achieved by Airxcel during our ownership. Through its dedication to superior products, customer service and manufacturing excellence, Airxcel established a leading position in the industry. Mel Adams and his entire team have done an exceptional job and we are confident Airxcel will continue to thrive in the years ahead.”
Adams stated, “BRS has been an excellent partner. For almost a decade, we have worked together to dramatically increase Airxcel’s profitability and improve its growth prospects and competitive position. We now look forward to a partnership with One Rock, a firm with significant experience investing in manufacturing businesses such as Airxcel.”
Tony W. Lee, managing partner of One Rock, added, “We look forward to building further upon the strong foundation for growth that Mel Adams and the rest of the Airxcel management team have constructed over the past several years.”
One Rock Managing Partner R. Scott Spielvogel noted, “Going forward, the entire One Rock team is excited to be able to provide very relevant operating expertise in the specific categories of products that Airxcel manufactures. We expect this expertise to be a true value-added resource to help fuel Airxcel’s growth and enhanced profitability in the future.”
Airxcel and BRS were advised in the transaction by Piper Jaffray & Co. and Kirkland & Ellis LLP. Hogan Lovells LLP acted as legal advisor to One Rock. Senior financing for the transaction was led by GE Antares Capital and Citizens Financial Group. Mezzanine financing for the transaction was provided by Freedom 3 Capital, Babson Capital Management and Yukon Partners.