Racine-based R&B Grinding, LLC has been acquired by Willis & Smith Capital,
a Plano, Texas-based private equity firm. The transaction closed on Feb. 1. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
R&B Grinding Co., Inc.
is a leading manufacturer of machined components to a variety of industrial customers, including Fortune 500 original equipment manufacturers. The company was founded by the Biddle family and employs over 100 people in its multi-acre manufacturing campus at 1900 Clark St.
In 1958, Ray Biddle Sr. left his job to purchase a used grinding machine and with his newly married wife, Marilyn, started R&B Grinding Co., Inc. Following Ray’s death in 2014, Barbara Lange assumed the role of president
of R&B Grinding in 2017.
Willis & Smith Capital’s operating partner, Gene Simon, will serve as chief executive officer. Several key members of the senior management team, including Barbara Lange of the Biddle family, will continue managing R&B Grinding’s various operating divisions.
“We believe R&B’s family values and dedication to its employees, its community, and its clients speak for themselves,” said Simon in a statement. “I am energized to work alongside such a talented team as we dedicate our resources to further enhance R&B’s already impressive capabilities.”
In the same statement, the Biddle family said it was clear that Willis & Smith Capital was the right choice because of a mix of their experience and values.
“Our family sought a partner with significant manufacturing experience that could provide the necessary capital and strategic guidance to continue R&B’s legacy,” reads the statement. “Their core values of enhancing opportunities for our employees and their vision for growth align with ours. This transition will solidify a vibrant future for our employees, suppliers, and the Racine community.”
Milwaukee-based Taureau Group, LLC provided financial advisory services to R&B, while Madison-based Boardman Clark, LLC provided legal advice.