Superior Tool Holding Company

January 19, 2005
Contact: Lauren B. Sinai

Prospect Partners and Management Acquire Leading Plumbing Hand Tool Company

Superior Tool Corporation, Manufacturer of Superior® Pro-Line Pipe Working and Plumbing Tools, Seeks Growth Through New Product Development and Acquisition

CHICAGO, ILL.—January 19, 2005: Prospect Partners, LLC along with management, is excited to announce the formation of Superior Tool Holding Company to acquire Superior Tool Corporation of Cleveland, Ohio. Superior Tool is a leading manufacturer and distributor of a complete range of consumer and professional branded pipe working and specialty plumbing tools. Its product line, which includes the widely recognized Superior® Pro-Line and Stanley® brands, is sold nationwide through multiple distribution channels, including home center, hardware and catalog retailers.

To recapitalize the business, Prospect teamed with Superior's executive management team of Howard M. Garfinkel, Chief Executive Officer, who has been with the company since 1979, and Charles J. Mintz, Chief Operating Officer, an industry veteran who joined Superior in 1995. Mr. Garfinkel and Mr. Mintz both will continue in their current positions.

"Superior is an excellent example of a highly successful small niche leader poised for further growth," says Erik E. Maurer, a Principal at Prospect Partners. "Howard and Chuck are a strong and accomplished management team. They have implemented a very efficient business model to capitalize on the retail hardware/home improvement trend, have actively grown the business into its current niche, and have, through their commitment to strong service and product innovation, developed a loyal customer base that includes the major home improvement retailers."

Mr. Maurer adds, "We think Superior provides a great entree into a specialty niche within the hand tool market. The company serves as a strong foundation for expansion, via both organic growth and acquisition, into businesses with complementary product lines that sell through similar distribution channels."

"We found Prospect to be an astute financial and strategic partner, and look forward to working together on expanding our base beyond plumbing and hand tools," says Mr. Garfinkel, whose grandfather founded Superior three generations ago in 1946.

Adds Mr. Mintz: "The opportunity with Prospect is another extension of our history of collaboration with other companies. This partnership will allow us to create even more innovative products within our category."

Toward that end, Prospect Partners and management will continue to actively pursue acquisitions of other niche hand tool, power tool and plumbing-related businesses.

Mr. Maurer and Prospect Partners' Principal William V. Glastris, Jr. will serve Superior Tool as Chairman and Director, respectively.

Superior Tool is the third platform company of Prospect Partners II, L.P., the $165 million fund that closed in June, 2004. Chicago-based Kronos Products, Inc., a leading Greek foods manufacturer, and Brazoria, Texas-based Industrial Hoist Services, LP, a leading national provider and leaser of hoists used in industrial applications, both were acquired in late 2004 by Prospect Partners and the respective company management teams.

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 inception in 1998, Prospect Partners has focused on management-led leveraged acquisitions and has invested in nearly 45 leading companies within many niche consumer, commercial, specialty distribution and service markets throughout the United States.

Back to Press Releases