Guy & O’Neill acquired by New York private equity firm

Centre Partners takes majority stake

Fredonia-based manufacturer Guy & O’Neill Inc. has been acquired by New York private equity firm Centre Partners.

The transaction amount was not disclosed, but Centre Partners said it made its investment along with Guy & O’Neill’s senior management team. Tom Misgen, chief executive officer of Guy & O’Neill, said Centre Partners took a majority ownership stake, and the seven-member senior management team continues to have a meaningful stake in the business. He declined to disclose percentage ownership.

Guy & O’Neill makes household cleaning and personal care products, including Ally adult care bathing cloths, Care4 makeup remover wipes, Clean Cut disinfecting wipes, Evoke personal lubricant, Green & Clean cleaning products and Zippy car interior wipes. It also contract manufactures a number of familiar brand products, which Misgen declined to name. The company has 220 employees, and is trying to hire another 30 to 40, Misgen said. Guy & O’Neill has a three-building campus in Fredonia and a second location in Grafton, which total 510,000 square feet.

“We’re advertising (for job openings) on the radio, on television, on billboards, on social media, on a number of different venues,” he said. “Our growth has been tremendous, so we’re always looking for more employees.”

Guy & O’Neill has more than doubled its revenue in the past year and a half, Misgen said. The demand for its products requires additional capital, and the Centre Partners investment will help with cash flow. All of Guy & O’Neill’s employees will remain in place at its existing facilities in the transaction, he said.

“We are very pleased to partner with and invest alongside Centre,” Misgen said. “We believe that their financial support and industry expertise will accelerate growth and facilitate meaningful investments in our business while maintaining our focus on offering the highest quality products and customer service that our customers value and will continue to enjoy. Centre’s investment is an endorsement of the strength of our dedicated management team and the strength of our innovative portfolio of products.”

“Centre is thrilled to partner with the Guy & O’Neill management team,” said Bruce Pollack, a managing partner of Centre Partners. “The company is well-positioned to execute on multiple compelling growth strategies, and uniquely situated to offer its customers with innovative products to capitalize on shifting consumer preferences in the household cleaning sector.”

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Molly Dill, former BizTimes Milwaukee managing editor.

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