Anderson Manufacturing sold to Swiss firm

Private equity owner turned Bristol company around

Automotive parts
Some of the parts made at Anderson Manufacturing in Bristol.

The principals of Northbrook, Illinois-based private equity firm Big Shoulders Capital, who acquired Bristol-based manufacturer Anderson Manufacturing last year, have now sold Anderson to a Swiss firm. The transaction closed in early April for an undisclosed price.

Automotive parts
Some of the parts made at Anderson Manufacturing in Bristol.

Big Shoulders’ principals, David Muslin and Todd DiBenedetto, injected new funding into Anderson Manufacturing to help stabilize the specialty fastener maker, they said in a release today. Big Shoulders specializes in turnaround and restructuring financing services such as asset-backed loans and sale-leasebacks.

Anderson manufactures automotive products including specialty and complex terminals, pins, rivets, screws and studs, and also completes secondary operations like thread rolling, tapping, grinding, sorting and packaging. It was founded in 1976 and has about 50 employees running three shifts at its 52,000-square-foot plant in Bristol.

The Swiss buyer was international metals manufacturer Ferriere di Stabio, which does business in the U.S. as Chester, N.J.-based Swiss Stainless Products Inc. The company plans to shift some of its automotive parts manufacturing to Bristol and hire more employees there, a Big Shoulders spokesman said.

“We were attracted to the company’s solid history of developing specialty fasteners for the automotive industry,” said Roberto Marzorati, one of the owners of Ferriere di Stabio. “Our plans are to invest in a business development program targeting the automotive industry while adding the customers we currently serve. We will also add new technology to the plant to reach a state-of-the-art model. Our five-year plan for Anderson will expand their reach among NAFTA partners and provide us with additional opportunities to grow our business in the U.S.”

Tim Cash, president of Anderson, will continue to lead the company.

In recent years, Anderson has changed hands several times. It was sold to the Big Shoulders principals by Bloomfield Hills, Michigan-based private equity firm BlackEagle Partners, which bought the company in 2016 from Milwaukee-based investment bank Bridgewood Advisors.

BlackEagle rolled Anderson into a company with Rockford, Illinois-based fastener and cold form component manufacturer Rockford Products, which was struggling and eventually went out of business, a Big Shoulders spokesman said. After that financial drain on the company ended, the principals of Big Shoulders were able to quickly turn Anderson around.

“We originally bought Anderson because we saw the opportunity to invest in a company with a demonstrated track record of success and a high ceiling for the future,” Muslin said. “Our initial objective was to prevent the plant from closing and save 50 jobs. Once the business was stabilized, we identified an international company with strategic synergies and we felt that together they would give Anderson the best opportunity for continued growth.”

“Anderson is involved in producing very specialized and complex cold-formed fasteners,” DiBenedetto said. “This is an expertise we did not want to see evaporate, so we are very pleased with this outcome and optimistic for the future of the company.”

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Molly Dill, former BizTimes Milwaukee managing editor.

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