Germantown-based Systems Inc.
has been acquired by Oak Brook, Illinois-based The Chamberlain Group Inc
. The controlling interest was sold by Detroit private equity firm Huron Capital Partners LLC for an undisclosed price.
Systems Inc. manufactures loading dock equipment. It has 232 employees, about half of whom work in its 80,000-square-foot Germantown plant, and the other half at its 136,000-square-foot Malvern, Arkansas plant. It was founded in 1961 by George McGuire, and specializes in hydraulic, pneumatic and mechanical loading dock leveling equipment, truck restraints, specialty dock equipment and related accessories. It sells the products both to dealers and to end users such as grocery or warehouse companies under the Poweramp, DLM and McGuire brand names.
The Chamberlain Group makes access solutions including garage door openers, commercial door openers and entry systems under the LiftMaster, Chamberlain, Merlin and Grifco brands. It has more than 5,000 employees worldwide.
Systems Inc. was acquired by Huron, Chamberlain Group owner Duchossois Capital Management and then-chief executive office Mike Pilgrim for an undisclosed price in May 2016
. The majority ownership was sold to Huron and Duchossois when owner Ed McGuire retired.
Since the acquisition, the private equity firms have formed a board of directors and created a strategic plan to leverage Systems’ market reach in commercial dock equipment, while expanding its product line, particularly in the connected dock environment.
"We found in Systems a fundamentally-sound company that needed corporate development resources to design a path for its long-term future," said Mike Beauregard, a senior partner at Huron Capital. "To help support the company's plans, we encouraged significantly more investments in new technologies, sales and market development resources than the prior owners. As a result, the business became far more interesting to strategic buyers in the market, and sooner than we anticipated."
Systems will continue to operate in the same way, and president Mike Pilgrim will continue to lead the dock-leveler business. Emily Davis, director of communications at Chamberlain, said Systems fits in well with its Access Solutions business, and no changes are expected in the near-term.
"There are no cost targets as a result of the acquisition," she said.
"I chose Huron Capital and DCM as destination equity partners for my 2016 buyout transaction because of their strategic relationships with companies like Chamberlain Group,” Pilgrim said. “We’re very excited to be a part of the CGI team now. A family-owned company of their caliber has the kind of resources and values-driven culture that any organization would want to be a part of.”
“Online retailers are driving growth in the warehouse space and that growth has increased the demand for integrated and efficient access solutions,” said JoAnna Sohovich, chief executive officer of CGI. “We’re very excited about this acquisition because it expands the scope of solutions CGI provides by adding dock-levelers to our product offering and expanding our brand portfolio to meet the diverse needs of warehouse managers. It will also allow us to offer enhanced efficiency to end-users through the integration of automated solutions on our connected platforms.”