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
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
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
"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.