January 29, 2014
Contact: Lauren Sinai

Prospect Partners Recapitalizes Owen Equipment Company

Environmental Infrastructure Maintenance Equipment Distributor Looks to Expand Product and Service Offering and Geographic Reach

CHICAGO, Ill.—January 29, 2014: Prospect Partners, a leading private equity firm investing in smaller lower-middle-market companies, today announced the management-led recapitalization of Owen Equipment Company and Owen Equipment Sales (together, "Owen"), a leading western U.S. provider of environmental infrastructure maintenance equipment.

Owen, based in Portland, Ore., is a distributor of sophisticated, high-performance maintenance equipment used to service environmental infrastructure needs. Owen is one of the top North American dealers for several lines of industrial equipment, including the Elgin® and Vactor® brands of street sweepers, sewer cleaners, hydro-excavators, and catch basin cleaners. The equipment is used for street cleaning, clearing and maintaining sewer lines, catch basins and storm sewers, and for specialized excavations, non-destructive digging, and other applications. As part of its integrated, full-service solution, Owen also offers equipment rentals, maintenance, training, parts, tooling and servicing through centers in California, Oregon and Washington. Owen serves municipal, governmental, industrial and commercial customers in California, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon and Washington.

The company dates back to 1958, when it operated as the broom equipment manufacturer Ben-Ko-Matic. Over the next 50 years, Owen evolved into a leading environmental solutions dealer and distributor, and was purchased in 2006 by a team that included its CEO and President, Earl Rose, a former executive with Sunbelt Rentals, one of the nation's largest construction equipment rental companies. Under Mr. Rose's leadership, Owen has expanded its equipment lines, opened a new California branch office, and introduced rental services.

"Owen is a terrific niche company," said Lou Kenter, a Founding Principal of Prospect Partners. "Earl and his team are extremely savvy, possess a deep understanding of the business, and have a clear plan to grow it. With the trend toward increased investment in infrastructure and municipal projects and the heightened focus on environmental protections, we think this is a very exciting time for Owen."

Added Mr. Rose: "We are looking forward to Prospect Partners' capital support to help us accelerate the realization of a number of our goals, including growing our rental business, where we see significant opportunity, expanding our product line, and reaching new geographic markets. Prospect Partners' previous investment experience in the equipment rental business should be helpful as we grow."

Going forward, Owen Equipment seeks to invest in select add-on acquisitions of other Elgin® and Vactor® dealers as well as providers of complementary environmental infrastructure maintenance products.

Serving on the board of the holding company, Owen Equipment Holdings Corp., are Mr. Kenter, as Chairman, and Prospect Partners' Vice President Brett Holcomb as a Director.

The other platform companies in Prospect Partners' $200 million third fund, Prospect Partners III, L.P., are: Cyclonaire Holding Corporation, a leading engineer and manufacturer of pneumatic conveying systems; Absolutely Custom Group, Inc., of Spring Grove, Ill., a leading embellisher of customized athletic uniforms, spirit wear, and decals for the K-12 school sports market; Velocity Aerospace Holding Group, a Burbank, Calif.-based provider of aviation maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) services; ICI Holding Company, a Daphne, Ala.-based wholesale distributor, supplier and manufacturer of agricultural irrigation mechanical and electrical components; Landmark Irrigation Holding Services, Inc., a Madera, Calif.-based designer and installer of custom drip irrigation systems for Central California farmers; Prospect Water Co. LLC, a Lombard, Ill.-based provider of water treatment products and services through independently franchised dealers; and SurePoint Holdings, LLC, of Lawrence, Kansas, a nationwide provider of direct-to-consumer diabetes supplies and services. Prospect Partners III, L.P. closed in August, 2010.

About Prospect Partners

Prospect Partners is a leading private equity firm investing in smaller lower-middle-market companies, managing $470 million across three funds. A highly experienced and active investor, Prospect Partners focuses exclusively on management-led leveraged recapitalizations and acquisitions of niche market leaders with revenues typically under $75 million. Since 1998, Prospect Partners has invested opportunistically nationwide in more than 105 companies in a broad range of niche manufacturing, distribution, and specialty service markets. Based in Chicago, Prospect Partners also has an office in Menlo Park, Calif. 

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December 3, 2018
Prospect Partners Sells Owen Equipment Company