A value-added supplier of products and customized solutions serving the global laboratory supply industry. Wheaton sells over 10,000 SKUs of primarily branded products to both global distributors and diagnostic and chemical packagers serving the industry. The Company’s brand is over 120 years old and is recognized worldwide for its high-quality and innovative product offerings.
Brookwood advised Wheaton and its financial partners River Associates (sponsor) and PNC Mezzanine (mezzanine and co-investor) on its sale to PNC Equity Partners.
Owner and Management Goals – River Associates had effected a successful carve-out of Wheaton from its previous corporate owner, Alcan. Having established a strong operating platform supported by an excellent brand and substantial recurring revenue, Management hoped to accelerate Wheaton’s growth via acquisitions. This goal, which dovetailed with River’s fundraising activities, caused Management and River to seek a buyer that would be the right partner for Management in this next phase of Wheaton’s growth.
Effective Company Positioning – Brookwood understood that the laboratory supply industry had several attractive dynamics, was highly fragmented and lent itself to a consolidation with the right platform company. Brookwood’s marketing efforts positioned Wheaton as one of the very few legitimate acquisition platforms in the industry. Specifically, Brookwood highlighted the Company’s 120-year-old brand name, critical position in the supply chain, longstanding customer relationships, recurring revenue base, excellent information systems and demonstrated management depth.
Excellent Result – While the broad marketing efforts generated strategic buyer interest as well, the effective positioning as an acquisition platform drove significant financial buyer interest. Ultimately, River and Management chose a transaction with PNC Equity that provided: (i) an attractive outcome supporting near-term fundraising efforts for River; and (ii) a new partner for Management committed to supporting their vision for growth via acquisition over the next several years.
Press Release Excerpt
We are pleased to announce that Brookwood Associates advised Wheaton Industries Inc., a portfolio company of River Associates Investments, LLC and PNC Mezzanine Capital, on the sale of the Company to PNC Equity Partners. River Associates and PNC Mezzanine teamed with existing management in 2006 to carve-out Wheaton from its corporate owner, Alcan, Inc. Having built the infrastructure for a fully independent company and designed and executed growth initiatives, the shareholders retained Brookwood to advise the company regarding the timing and scope of a marketing process. This process highlighted the Company’s critical market position, 120-year-old brand name, management and systems strength, and scarcity value as an acquisition platform in a highly fragmented industry.
The transaction yielded an attractive outcome for the shareholders and management, including a new sponsor partner interested in driving further industry consolidation. This transaction extends Brookwood’s track record in the scientific products sector and represents the second time Brookwood has represented both River Associates and PNC Mezzanine Capital in portfolio company exits.