BlueWater Partners Announces Strategic Investment in Kruger Plastic Products by HC Private Investments

Kruger Plastic Products (“Kruger”), a family-owned, custom injection molding manufacturer of niche products and components, has been acquired by HC Private Investments (“HCPI”), a Chicago-based private investment firm. Kruger’s senior management, including Pat Brandstatter, President, and Dirk Kruger, VP of Engineering, will maintain significant stakes in the company. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. BlueWater Partners acted as the exclusive financial advisor and Varnum acted as the legal counsel to Kruger for this transaction.

Kruger has been an integral part of its customers’ manufacturing process for more than 40 years by providing them with end-to-end, value-added injection molding solutions, from in-house production engineering and design, raw material sourcing, tool making, logistics, assembly and inventory management. Kruger currently serves customers across a variety of industries including consumer, industrial, and recreational vehicle end-markets. Kruger is based in Bridgman, MI and has approximately 100 employees.

HCPI has identified numerous opportunities to accelerate sales growth through strategic investment in manufacturing capabilities and personnel to better serve Kruger’s existing customer base, as well as expand into new end markets such as medical products.

Pat Brandstatter, said, “We are excited to be working with HCPI to build long-term value. We believe that HCPI’s experience and capabilities make them the ideal partner for Kruger to take advantage of the significant opportunities ahead while maintaining our core values of quality and service.”

John P. Kelly, Managing Partner at HCPI, said, “Kruger Plastic Products has distinguished itself through an unwavering focus on quality and service to its many great customers and we are excited to partner with Pat and Dirk to help them expand the business. We have great respect for the team and business that has been built over of the course of four decades.”

Matthew J. Moran, Managing Partner at HCPI, added, “We could not be more delighted to build on the legacy of Kruger Plastic Products, and look forward to working with the team to build a growth platform and bring Kruger’s world-class products and services to a broader array of customers.”

About Kruger Plastic Products

Established in 1975 as a custom injection molder dedicated to quality and customer service, Kruger Plastic Products today provides customers with quality parts in conjunction with value-added services relating to engineering, design/decoration, material, process, assembly and packaging. Kruger’s facility incorporates 47 injection molding machines ranging in size from 25 tons to 1,000 tons, and supports a fully staffed, full service mold making and repair department with CAD/CAM capabilities and off-line programming. For more information, please visit www.krugerplasticproducts.com.

About HC Private Investments

HC Private Investments (“HCPI”) is a private equity investment firm focused on making investments between $5 million to $30 million in lower middle-market manufacturing businesses within the consumer and industrial markets. HCPI invests capital from HC Technologies, LLC, a Chicago-based principal trading firm led by Joe Niciforo with offices New York and London. The firm will also bring select family offices and individuals to participate in its transactions providing HCPI with a flexible and patient capital base. With a focus of being the first institutional investor in a business, HCPI seeks to partner with business owners, executives and management teams to identify opportunities to remove impediments to growth enabling companies to maximize their full value potential. For more information, please visit www.hcprivateinvest.com.

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BlueWater Partners Announces the Sale of Dies Plus

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., November 27, 2017 – Dies Plus, Inc., a leading manufacturer of precision metalforming dies and tooling, has been acquired by OTTO Engineering, Inc. (“OTTO”), a manufacturer of control switches and audio accessories. The acquisition complements OTTO’s internal stamping capabilities, and OTTO plans to make additional investments in people and technology at Dies Plus in order to grow the business. All employees of Dies Plus were retained. BlueWater Partners acted as the exclusive financial advisor to Dies Plus for this transaction.

“Our key focus and success has been the dedication to create a modern machine shop. Staying one step ahead of our competition by embracing state of the art technology, reinvesting in new machinery, and exploring 3D software have been the key elements of our success,” explained Neil Dohe, Vice President of Dies Plus. “We look forward to continuing this passion of building precision stamping dies with a company sharing our vision and to support American manufacturing!”

“I see a tremendous opportunity to invest in the future of American manufacturing,” said Tom Roeser, President of OTTO. “It takes several years of experience and training to become a tool and die maker. Our plan is to hire several apprentices and experienced tool and die makers and grow these important technologies.”

About Dies Plus

Headquartered in Itasca, IL, Dies Plus provides die manufacturing, wire EDM, engineering, and maintenance & repair for customers in the automotive, connector terminals, bus bars, medical, turbines, cell phone, lighting, and other industries. The company focuses on close tolerance, Class A stamping dies, and has experience with many metals including steel, stainless steel, and non-ferrous metals. Dies Plus has the skilled personnel and precision equipment to meet tolerances down to .0001 of an inch, and the flexibility to handle specialized tooling like multi- and four-slide dies. www.diesplus.com

About OTTO Engineering

For over 55 years, OTTO has been designing and manufacturing a full line of control switches, and for over 25 years, audio accessories for unique and demanding applications. Located in Carpentersville, IL, the company is recognized worldwide for superior performance and innovative products. OTTO is a vertically integrated manufacturer with in-house injection molding, stamping, CNC machining, cable assembly and cable overmolding capabilities. The company markets its products through two divisions, OTTO Controls and OTTO Communications. www.ottoexcellence.com

About BlueWater Partners, LLC

BlueWater Partners is a middle market investment banking and consulting firm. As strategic advisors to business owners and management, BlueWater Partners works with companies to create, manage and realize business value, frequently before or through a sale or acquisition. BlueWater Partners’ services include advice on mergers and acquisitions, divestitures, capital sourcing, performance improvement, restructuring and turnaround.

Contact:

Matt Miller, Managing Director, BlueWater Partners, matt@bluewaterpartners.com, 616.988.4796
Jerry Dohe, President, Dies Plus, jerrydohe@diesplus.com, 630.212.0543
Tom Roeser, President, OTTO Engineering, tom.roeser@ottoexcellence.com, 847.654.8205

BlueWater Partners Announces the Sale of Dies Plus

BlueWater Partners Announces the Acquisition of GTM Plastics by Clarion Technologies

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., October 16, 2017 – Clarion Technologies, Inc. (“Clarion”), a Michigan-based custom injection molder, has acquired the assets, business, and operations of GTM Plastics, Inc. (“GTM”), a Texas-based custom injection molder. The transaction brings Clarion closer to some of its customers and into new market segments. BlueWater Partners acted as the exclusive financial advisor and Varnum acted as the legal counsel to Clarion for this transaction.

“We bought GTM primarily because of its location,” said John Brownlow, President of Clarion. “GTM puts Clarion in the southwest U.S. and closer to our customers in Mexico. It also takes us into some new markets like HVAC.” Clarion plans to invest about $2 million in the Garland, TX facility in the near term. Most of the expenditures will be made on new equipment, including chillers, cranes and robots.

About Clarion Technologies

Clarion designs, develops and manufactures injection-molded components that meet or exceed customer quality expectations in the highly dynamic home appliance, consumer products, automotive, medical and HVAC industries. Headquartered in Holland, MI, the company operates three plants in Anderson, SC, Garland, TX and Greenville, MI. Clarion operates injection molding machines with clamping force of 25 to 2,000 tons. www.clariontechnologies.com

About GTM Plastics

GTM was founded in 1964 as Garland Tooling & Machining Co. The company provides thermoplastic injection molding and tool making and contract manufacturing services and serves markets like HVAC, flow control valves, and sporting goods. GTM’s quality system is registered under the ISO 9001-2008 standard.

About BlueWater Partners, LLC

BlueWater Partners is a middle market investment banking, consulting, and merchant banking firm. As strategic advisors to business owners and management, BlueWater Partners works with companies to create, manage and realize business value, frequently before or through a sale or acquisition. BlueWater Partners’ services include advice on mergers and acquisitions, divestitures, capital sourcing, performance improvement, restructuring and turnaround. www.bluewaterpartners.com

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BlueWater Partners Announces the Sale of Knapp Energy

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., September 27, 2017 – Knapp Energy, Inc. (“Knapp”), a leading distributor of fuel, lubricants and propane to commercial and residential customers, has been acquired by Crystal Flash, an employee-owned energy distribution company. The acquisition enabled Crystal Flash to expand its capabilities, footprint and talent. All employees of Knapp were retained. BlueWater Partners acted as the exclusive financial advisor and Lewis Reed & Allen acted as the legal counsel to Knapp for this transaction.

“Selling our business was a difficult decision for us,” said Dave Knapp, president of Knapp Energy. “Fortunately, we were able to join forces with a quality company like Crystal Flash. I’m confident that with Crystal Flash’s long history and excellent reputation of customer service this will be a positive move for our employees and customers in the years to come. The BlueWater Partners team was extremely helpful throughout the transaction. Their expertise and advice were invaluable in what can be a difficult and stressful process.”

“We are excited to welcome the customers and team of Knapp Energy into our Crystal Flash family,” said Tom Olive, president of Crystal Flash. “As we continue to expand our footprint, joining with companies closely aligned to our purpose and values is very important. Our shared background as independent fuel distributors committed to exceptional service makes the Knapp acquisition a natural fit.”

About Knapp Energy

In the past 55 years or so, Knapp has grown from a small one-truck operation in Kalamazoo, MI to a regional supplier of propane, heating oil, diesel fuel, gasoline and over 800 industrial lubricants. As southwest Michigan’s most complete energy source, we deliver the energy services that keep homes warm, industry productive, transportation rolling and agriculture growing. Most importantly, over the years we’ve never strayed from our core principles of giving back to our community, and being thought of as a dependable neighbor. www.knappenergy.com

About Crystal Flash

Crystal Flash is an employee-owned energy distribution company focused on commercial and residential customers throughout the Lower Peninsula of Michigan. Established in 1932, Crystal Flash has grown as the demand for energy has evolved, and today concentrates on the sale and distribution of propane, diesel and other fuels. The company is one of the largest independently owned energy suppliers in the state with more than 250 employees in 16 locations. www.crystalflash.com

About BlueWater Partners, LLC

BlueWater Partners is a middle market investment banking, consulting, and merchant banking firm. As strategic advisors to business owners and management, BlueWater Partners works with companies to create, manage and realize business value, frequently before or through a sale or acquisition. BlueWater Partners’ services include advice on mergers and acquisitions, divestitures, capital sourcing, performance improvement, restructuring and turnaround. www.bluewaterpartners.com

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BlueWater Partners Announces the Sale of General Products Corporation and General Products Mexico, LLC

BlueWater Partners Announces the Sale of General Products Corporation and General Products Mexico, LLC

BlueWater Partners Announces the Acquisition of Hope Industries by Wright Plastic Products

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