Mergers and Acquisitions

CapitalWorks Completes Majority Investment In ERL

Private equity firm CapitalWorks of Cleveland, Ohio, announced November 25 it has completed a majority investment in Electromechanical Research Laboratories Inc. (ERL) of New Albany, Ind., and subsidiary Law Valve of Texas, in partnership with ERL President and CEO Stephen Wilkins and the ERL management team.

Founded in 1970, ERL Commercial Marine is the leading provider of pumping, gauging, venting, environmental and related solutions for tank barges. Its strong commitment to engineering and research and development has led to more than 30 patents, while its dedication to customer service and support has earned a strong brand reputation and loyal customers.

“We are excited to partner with Stephen and the rest of the ERL team,” said Dick Hollington, CapitalWorks managing director and CEO. “They have earned the position of market leader in their niche market through consistent product innovation and a commitment and focus on customer service. We see ample opportunities for ERL to continue its stellar track record and look forward to partnering with the team.”

“CapitalWorks is the ideal partner for our next chapter of growth, due to its track record of growing family-owned businesses and its industrial orientation, Midwestern values and alignment around our strategy for growth,” Wilkins said.

Fifty years ago, Dr. Larry Wilkins founded ERL and grew the business through engineering superior solutions, providing superior customer service and following the Golden Rule to treat others as you wish to be treated. Stephen Wilkins succeeded his father and has continued this focus on new product development and values since joining the business in 2009.

As a result, ERL has grown into an industry-leading supplier of mission-critical industrial components and repair and maintenance services to the inland marine barge market.

Senior financing was provided by CIBC. Oxer Capital provided subordinated debt and equity. CapitalWorks LLC was advised by Calfee, Halter & Griswold on the transaction. ERL Inc. was advised by Baird BOS, Lynch Cox Gilman & Goodman PSC and Harding Shymanski & Company PSC.

CapitalWorks LLC is an industrial focused private equity firm that is backed by knowledgeable investors who partner with it in finding, vetting and owning companies. The firm acquires lower middle-market companies in manufacturing and industrial services industries and gives them the capital, support and freedom to grow. Recent acquisitions include Libra Industries, Essco, Ohio Blow Pipe, C&M Conveyor and GEMCITY. Founded in 1999, the firm’s investors are primarily successful entrepreneurs and executives who contribute to the evaluation and investment process.