Germantown-based loading dock equipment manufacturer Systems Inc. has been acquired by private equity firms Huron Capital Partners LLC and Duchossois Capital Management, along with Mike Pilgrim, chief executive officer. The acquisition, terms of which were not disclosed, closed on May 6.
Huron and Duchossois have majority ownership of the company, which they purchased from Ed McGuire, who retired.
Systems has about 200 employees, half of whom work in its 80,000-square-foot Germantown plant, and half at its new 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.
Pilgrim joined the company in 2001 and will continue to serve as CEO. He rolled a significant portion of his equity back into the business.
“(McGuire) decided he wanted to exit the business, so he allowed me to be involved in that and pick my partners,” Pilgrim said.
After meeting with about a dozen private equity firms on the east coast and in the Midwest, Pilgrim decided to go with a firm that was based in the Midwest.
“We were best suited with a partner that understands our business principles and what got us here and that’s going to take us to the next level,” he said.
Systems Inc. will continue to operate in a similar way, with Germantown remaining the headquarters, Pilgrim said, but it will also begin growing more aggressively. The company plans to hire 36 additional employees this year, and has a long-term goal of expanding to additional locations and product lines.
“As a full-service loading dock solutions provider with a broad product offering, we see Systems as being well-positioned in its niche,” said Mike Beauregard, senior partner at Huron Capital. “We think there’s a great opportunity to build on the company’s success, infuse it with technology applications, and drive a business development engine by leveraging the collective resources of Huron Capital, DCM and Messrs. Pilgrim, Reilly and Goodson.”