Prospect Partners Acquires Leading
Provider of Movable Shelving and Storage Solutions for Retail Industry
and Commercial Office Market
Private Equity Firm Teams With Industry Veteran Craig Umans and
Management to Purchase Pipp Mobile Storage Systems; Investment is
Fourth Platform of Prospect Partners II, L.P.
1, 2005: Prospect Partners, LLC along with store fixture industry
veteran Craig J. Umans and management, announce the formation of
Pipp Mobile Storage Systems Holding Company to acquire Pipp Mobile
Storage Systems, Inc. of Walker, Michigan, from its founding family.
Pipp Mobile Storage Systems is a leading manufacturer, designer
and installer of mobile shelving and storage systems for retail,
manufacturing, commercial office and warehousing customers nationwide,
including many Fortune 1000 companies.
Pipp, founded in 1981,
specializes in retail stockroom storage solutions and lateral shelving
units for records archival. The movable shelving systems glide laterally
on tracks and substantially increase the utilization of existing
storage capacity by providing access to the entire system through
a single aisle.
"Pipp has been a
long-time and consistent performer," says Erik E. Maurer, a
Principal at Prospect Partners. "The company delivers a high
value-add through its quality products, its strong customer base
and its focus on customer service through specially trained technicians
and quick product delivery."
"We felt Pipp provided
a great opportunity to partner with an industry veteran and build
a larger company in the store fixture and storage solutions industry,"
Maurer continues. "Not only is Craig a seasoned store-fixture
executive, he has vast experience in new product development and
working with suppliers as well as long-standing relationships with
Mr. Umans, who invested
in the company and will run it as Chief Executive Officer, has more
than 25 years of industry experience. He was formerly the President
and Chief Operating Officer of RHC Spacemaster Corporation, a Melrose
Park, Illinois-based store-fixture business.
"After being introduced
to the Pipp family, I became increasingly impressed with the quality
of products and the people at the company," Mr Umans says.
"The effort they put into servicing their customers is outstanding
in the industry. I'm excited to continue this tradition.
In pursing their growth
objectives for Pipp, Mr. Umans and Prospect Partners will actively
pursue add-on acquisitions of companies involved in complementary
specialty store-fixture and storage solutions industries.
Mr. Maurer, Mr. Umans
and Prospect Partners' Principal Richard C. Tuttle will serve Pipp
as Chairman and Directors, respectively.
Pipp Mobile Storage Systems
is the fourth platform company of Prospect Partners II, L.P., the
$165 million private equity fund that closed in June, 2004. The
Fund's other platform companies include Chicago-based Kronos Products,
Inc., a leading Greek foods manufacturer; Brazoria, Texas-based
Industrial Hoist Services, LP, a leading national provider and lessor
of hoists used in industrial applications; and Superior Tool Holding
Company, a leading manufacturer and distributor of a complete range
of professional and consumer pipe-working and specialty plumbing
tools sold nationwide.
About Prospect Partners
Prospect Partners, LLC
of Chicago, Illinois is a leading investor in unique lower-middle-market
companies, managing two private equity funds totaling $270 million.
Since its founding in 1998, Prospect Partners has focused on management-led
leveraged acquisitions of small niche leaders with revenues typically
between $10 and $30 million; the firm has invested in nearly 45
leading companies within many niche consumer, commercial, specialty
distribution and service markets throughout the United States.