CMG Advises Ward Leonard on its Sale to Fairbanks Morse, a Portfolio Company of Arcline

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January 18, 2021

Southport, CT

Carter Morse & Goodrich ("CMG") is pleased to announce that it served as the exclusive financial advisor to Ward Leonard Operating LLC and related entities (“Ward Leonard”) in the sale of its defense industry operations to Fairbanks Morse, LLC, a portfolio company of Arcline Investment Management. Transaction terms were not disclosed. 


For more than 125 years, Ward Leonard has specialized in the provision of state-of-the-art motors, control components and systems integration solutions for surface, subsurface, and land-based applications.  Its mission critical products are installed on every active U.S. Navy platform afloat today. Ward Leonard designs, manufactures and services MIL-Spec AC motors, including the Low Noise/Noise Quiet and Submersible Duty motors ranging from 1/16 to 350 horsepower. Ward Leonard also offers hundreds of electronic control products for marine utilization, including Automatic Bus Transfers, Contactors, Control Systems, Controllers, Lights & Lenses, Overload Relays, Parts, Starters & Push Button Stations, and Switches. 


Jon Carter, Chairman and CEO of Ward Leonard, said “Through our engineering expertise and industry-leading maintenance and repair services,Ward Leonard has built a strong reputation by focusing on reducing total system costs and mitigating risks for our military. This move will provide additionalsupport for our customers by increasing their access to OEM products and support through Fairbanks Morse’s waterfront field service presence.”

Fairbanks Morse, headquartered in Beloit, Wisconsin, manufactures and services heavy-duty, medium-speed reciprocating engines under the Fairbanks Morse® and ALCO® brand names, which are used primarily in marine and power generation applications. Like Ward Leonard, Fairbanks Morse has been the original equipment manufacturer of its engines for over 125 years and has a large installed base for which it supplies aftermarket parts and services. Fairbanks Morse is a portfolio company of Arcline Investment Management, a private equity firm headquartered in San Francisco with $1.5 billion in committed capital that seeks to invest in niche, market-leading companies across a number of industries.


Fairbanks Morse will continue to employ the approximately 150employees based in Thomaston, Connecticut. Following the transaction, Ward Leonard will continue to operate its motor maintenance, service and repair business, with locations in Houma, Louisiana and Houston Texas, providing clients with “The Power of Uptime™.”


Frank Morse, Managing Director of CMG, explained, "We have enjoyed a 15-year relationship with Jon Carter and the Ward Leonard management team and have advised on several strategic initiatives. We are thrilled to have worked with the team once again on this important transaction that provides meaningful liquidity for shareholders and great opportunity for management who will continue to lead the new combined company.”


Other transaction advisors for Ward Leonard include Martin LLP who served as Ward Leonard’s legal advisors and Eisner Amper LLP, who provided a quality of earnings report. The transaction was managed by CMG’s FINRA registered broker dealer affiliate, Carter Capital Corporation.

About Carter Morse & Goodrich:

Located in Southport, Connecticut, Carter Morse & Goodrich is a boutique M&A advisory firm that specializes in representing founder-led and family-held businesses valued between $20 million and $200 million. CMG specializes in helping owners of leading companies in niche markets to plan, prepare, execute, and close successful transactions that maximize shareholder value. We fully understand and appreciate the unique dynamics of closely-held businesses and the importance of legacies. While CMG provides a full range of investment banking services such as business sales and divestitures, equity and debt capital raises, acquisition services and pre-transaction advisory services, our primary focus is representing sellers who are pursuing their once-in-a-lifetime M&A transactions. For more than 30 years, the combination of our hands-on approach, senior banker attention, strategic guidance, seamless transaction execution and extensive network of domestic and international resources has enabled us to become a trusted advisor to hundreds of business owners. For more information, visit us at

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