Former Jason CEO joins new partnership

Group looking to invest in manufacturers


The former chief executive officer of Milwaukee-based Jason Industries has joined with two of the company’s prior investors to form a partnership aimed at acquiring manufacturing businesses.

David Westgate, who is still based in Milwaukee, will partner with New York-based Saw Mill Capital and Boston-based Falcon Investment Advisors to pursue investment in manufacturing businesses with between $400 million and $1 billion in annual revenue.

Westgate was CEO of Milwaukee-based Jason Inc. and its successor company Jason Industries, Inc. from 2004 to 2015. Saw Mill acquired Jason in 2000 and Falcon invested in the company in 2010. Both exited their investment in 2014 when Jason was acquired by Quinpario Acquisition Corp. and became a publicly traded company.

Westgate resigned as CEO last year. New CEO Jeffry Quinn, who led Quinpario prior to the acquisition, has since criticized Westgate and his management team for not growing into the role of leading a public company.

Westgate said he is looking forward to working with Saw Mill and Falcon again, noting the partnership led to rapid acceleration of growth in multiple markets and geographies while he was at Jason.

“We are today eager to apply this winning mix to global manufacturing businesses that have been under-capitalized and/or under-managed, with the goal of uncovering obscured value that will drive a similar level of success,” Westgate said.

Saw Mill and Falcon are looking to acquire divisions or subsidiaries of public or large private manufacturing companies that serve a wide range of industrial markets and require operational improvements or senior management transition.

“We are looking for new investment opportunities where Dave can instill a culture of continuous improvement to drive growth and operating leverage, like he did consistently at Jason,” said John Schnabel, Falcon partner.

Saw Mill will invest from its newly raised fund, Saw Mill Capital Partners II, LP, while Falcon will invest from Falcon Strategic Partners V, LP.

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Arthur covers banking and finance and the economy at BizTimes while also leading special projects as an associate editor. He also spent five years covering manufacturing at BizTimes. He previously was managing editor at The Waukesha Freeman. He is a graduate of Carroll University and did graduate coursework at Marquette. A native of southeastern Wisconsin, he is also a nationally certified gymnastics judge and enjoys golf on the weekends.

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