Headquartered in Thomaston,Connecticut, Ward Leonard has specialized in the design and manufacturing ofstate-of-the-art motors, control components and systems integration solutionsfor surface, subsurface, and land-based applications for more than 125 years.Its mission critical products are installed on every active U.S. Navy platformafloat today. Ward Leonard designs, manufactures and services MIL-Spec ACmotors, including the Low Noise/Noise Quiet and Submersible Duty motors rangingfrom 1/16 to 350 horsepower. The Company also offers hundreds of electroniccontrol products for marine utilization, including Automatic Bus Transfers,Contactors, Control Systems, Controllers, Lights and Lenses, Overload Relays,Parts, Starters & Push Button Stations, and Switches. Additionally, theCompany provides specialized generators and motors up to 5000 H.P. for energyand other heavy industrial applications and a wide range of repair,maintenance, storage and service out of its Gulf Coast facilities.
Carter Morse &Goodrich has enjoyed a 15-year relationship with Jon Carter, Chairman and CEO,and the Ward Leonard management team. After advising on several strategic transactionsover the years, CMG was engaged to advise Jon as he sought to divest theCompany in 2019. CMG managed a disciplined auction process to find a strategicpartner and to continue the Ward Leonard legacy. With the onset of the COVID pandemic in 2020,the sale process was temporarily put on hold, then resumed later in the year.
Arcline InvestmentManagement, a private equity firm headquartered in San Francisco with $1.5billion in committed capital, submitted a preemptive offer to acquire themilitary business of The Company through their portfolio company FairbanksMorse. Headquartered in Beloit, Wisconsin,they manufacture and service heavy-duty, medium-speed reciprocating enginesunder the Fairbanks Morse® and ALCO® brand names, which are used primarily inmarine and power generation applications. From start to finish, the transactiontook approximately 60 days. George Whittier, CEO of Fairbanks Morse, said “Theacquisition of Ward Leonard expands the Fairbanks Morse product portfolio intocomplementary technologies, positioning us to serve as a power systemsintegrator to the U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard.”
It was importantto the shareholders that the buyer not only create satisfactory liquidity butalso provide a great opportunity for management who will continue to lead thenew combined company. Fairbanks Morse will maintain the approximately 150employees based in Thomaston, Connecticut. Following the transaction, Mr.Carter will continue to manage Ward Leonard Energy which will operate its motormaintenance, service and repair businesses at its locations in Houma, Louisiana and HoustonTexas.
Jon Cartercommented: “The divestiture process was complex, yet efficient and I’m pleasedto say that Ward Leonard has found a perfectly complementary home in itsaffiliation with Fairbanks Morse. Over the many years we’ve known each other, theteam at Carter Morse & Goodrich has played an invaluable role in theevolution of the company and in making this transaction happen. I am deeplyappreciative of their guidance, professionalism and friendship.
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