Nordco acquired by Canadian private equity firm


Oak Creek-based Nordco Inc., a manufacturer of machinery and equipment used to maintain and build railroad tracks, has been sold to OMERS Private Equity, a Toronto, Ontario based private equity firm.

Nordo was previously owned by The Riverside Company, a global private equity firm focused on the smaller end of the middle market. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed; however, The Riverside Company said it was able to achieve a 5.1x gross cash-on-cash return in the deal.

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Nordo has about 330 employees. It is headquartered in Oak Creek, with manufacturing operations there and in Arcola, Ill., Grandview, M.O., and Oshawa, Ontario.

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The company is a leading supplier of spikers, spike pullers, tie exchangers, anchor applicators, rail lifters and snow removers/ballast regulators.

Nordco was acquired by The Riverside Company in 2003, because of the potential for significant growth and the presence of a strong management team, said Tim Gosline, partner at Riverside.

“We really liked their CEO, Bruce Bocziewicz, and their management team, and we felt they had an excellent vision of how to grow the company,” Gosline said. “Maintenance of the way and track is necessary for railroads to run their fleets, and they have a leading market position in that category.”

While Riverside owned Nordco, the company launched a new aftermarket service division to service its equipment that is already running in the marketplace. Riverside also made four add-on acquisitions to Nordco while it owned the company, Gosline said.

“It was a platform company and we used it as a basis to make additional acquisitions – we were able to quadruple top line revenue (while we owned it),” he said.

When Riverside acquired Nordco, the company had about 125 employees – today it has 330.

The Nordco family of companies now includes Dapco Industries Inc., J.E.R. Overhaul Inc., ShuttleWagon, and Nordco Rail Services.

OMERS Private Equity will likely continue to operate Nordo in a similar way as The Riverside Company has, Gosline said.

“They’ll make add-on acquisitions and support organic growth because of their ability to come out with new products,” he said. “The new owners will continue to grow Nordco and be successful.”

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