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Published in Manufacturing

Blackford Capital sells Hastings-based housing products manufacturer in latest exit

BY Tuesday, August 23, 2022 03:57pm

GRAND RAPIDS — Blackford Capital recorded another exit with the sale of Hastings-based Quality Aluminum Products Inc. to a publicly traded manufacturer and service provider for the renewable energy, residential, agricultural technology and infrastructure markets.

The Buffalo, N.Y.-based Gibraltar Industries (Nasdaq: ROCK) said it paid $54 million in cash for Quality Aluminum Products, which for the 12-month period ending July 31 recorded $93 million in revenue and adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of $11.5 million.

Quality Aluminum Products President Bob Clark. COURTESY PHOTO

“The acquisition of QAP expands our residential product offering and builds our presence in additional regional markets supporting both retail and wholesale customers,” Gibraltar Industries Chairman and CEO Bill Bosway said in an announcement on the deal. “Adding a market leader like QAP supports our overall objective of accelerating growth, earnings, and market participation while also adding a best-in-class operating team to the Gibraltar organization.”

The Grand Rapids-based private equity firm Blackford Capital acquired Quality Aluminum Products in 2016 from third-generation owners — brothers Mike, Bob and Eric Clark — who retained an equity position. The company makes siding, gutters, roof edging and other exterior products for the residential housing industry, serving wholesale markets in the U.S. Midwest, Northeast and South.

“QAP grew rapidly and profitably since becoming part of the Blackford Capital family of portfolio companies,” Quality Aluminum Products President Bob Clark said in a statement. “We see tremendous potential for the business and are confident we will continue our momentum as we transition from Blackford Capital to Gibraltar. We are grateful for Blackford’s partnership, and we are excited to enter our next phase of growth as part of Gibraltar’s residential business.”

Under Blackford’s ownership and expansion investments, the company recorded a 17-percent annual compound growth rate, according to Jeff Johnson, managing director of Blackford and former chairman of Quality Aluminum Products.

Gibraltar Industries this month reported mid-year sales of $684.8 million, a 7.6-percent increase from the first six months of 2021. The company reported midyear net income of $38.7 million.

The deal was Blackford Capital’s third in recent months. The firm in June announced the sale of Grand Equipment Co. in Hudsonville to Chicago-based investment firm Cognitive Capital Partners LLC. The exit came seven years after Blackford Capital acquired Grand Equipment, a dealer of new and used heavy construction equipment and parts.

In a deal earlier in June, International Inc. — a subsidiary of Carolina Wholesale Group — said it acquired Buffalo Grove, Ill.-based International Toner Co., Reno, Nev.-based Supplies Wholesalers, and Illinois-based Cartridge World USA from Blackford Capital.

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