Watermill exits fastener company for $65m

The Massachusetts-based private investment firm has sold Vertex Fasteners to industrial equipment distributor DXP Enterprises three years after the initial acquisition.

Massachusetts-based Watermill Ventures has exited its investment in Vertex Fasteners to DXP Enterprises, a distributor of industrial equipment and services, for $65 million (€44.3 million).

DXP financed the acquisition of the industrial fasteners distributor with a new $200 million senior credit facility.

Watermill, headquartered in Massachusetts, acquired Vertex in August 2005 for an undisclosed amount in partnership with management.

The sales and EBITDA of Vertex for the year ended 3 May 2008 were approximately $71.9 million and $13.3 million, respectively.

Over the last three years Watermill supported add-on acquisitions as well as product line and segment expansion, according to the firm.

Watermill is a middle market buyout firm focusing on companies in transition with $30 million to $250 million in sales. The firm has executed 45 investments across a wide variety of sectors since its founding in 1978, according to the company’s website.

The firm most recently acquired C&M Technologies Group, a manufacturer of cables and cords, in April 2008. Prior to the firm’s investment in C&M, Watermill had not disclosed an investment since the firm acquired Timken Latrobe Steel Company alongside Hicks Holdings and Sankaty Advisors in December 2006.

In addition to its private investment group, Watermill has an advisory group servicing small to mid-sized privately held manufacturers and distributors.