Airxcel Inc., Wichita, Kan., a manufacturer of air conditioners, furnaces, water heaters and cooking appliances for the RV industry, has been sold to a group of employees and a newly formed company organized by Bruckmann, Rosser, Sherrill and Co. Inc. (BRS), a private New York equity firm.
However, the transaction should bring little change to the day-to-day operations of the well-known supplier.
“I am staying and most all of the management team, other than two people who are retiring, is staying,” said Mel Adams, Airxcel president and CEO since its inception in 1991. “We all will be reinvesting in the newly organized company.”
“Management is delighted to team with BRS, a high quality financial sponsor that has a thorough knowledge of the markets Airxcel serves and places high value on customer and employee relations.”
Besides the RV industry, Airxcel manufacturers and distributes heating, ventilating and air conditioning equipment for the telecommunications, school, modular structure and marine markets.
In a press release Adams said the transfer is subject to customary closing conditions and targeted to close by the end of August 2005. All financing necessary to complete the transaction is committed.
“Our focus of bringing high-quality, added-value products to markets Airxcel serves with excellent customer service support will continue to be our mission,” said Adams, who also serves as chairman of the Recreation Vehicle Service Training Council (RVSTC), which oversees the RV industry’s Distance Learning Network.
Airxcel, which currently employs 982 people at manufacturing operations in Wichita, Dayton, Tenn., and Cordele, Ga., and a warehouse and sales operation in Elkhart, Ind., was founded in 1991 with the acquisition of two business units of The Coleman Co. Inc. that were focused on the RV industry. In 1997 Airxcel acquired Marvair, now a diversified manufacturer of wall-mounted air conditioners for the telecommunications, school, modular construction and marine markets.
The company acquired Suburban Manufacturing Co. in 1998, a supplier to the RV industry manufacturing furnaces, water heaters, and cooking appliances.
BRS, founded in 1995 by former senior executives of Citicorp Venture Capital Ltd., has approximately $1.2 billion in funds under management and specializes in management buyouts and recapitalizations of high quality, middle market companies with strong market positions and/or growth potential.
Its portfolio companies have a strong focus on consumer products and services including many leading name brands.