Woodgreen Advisors acquires Prototype Composites

Plans to diversify manufacturer beyond automotive parts

Woodgreen Advisors, a new Milwaukee performance turnaround advisory firm, has acquired Glendale-based manufacturer Prototype Composites LLC from Michael Cudahy Jr. The acquisition closed Feb. 1 for an undisclosed price.

Founded in 2005, Prototype Composites makes carbon fiber, Kevlar and fiberglass parts for the motorsports, outdoor sports, electric car, automotive aftermarket and marine industries. It has 10 employees, all of whom will be retained, said Kilby Williamson, managing partner of Woodgreen Advisors. Cudahy will remain with the company to manage product development.

Woodgreen, which Williamson established in August 2017, found Prototype via its turnaround management services. The firm plans to help Prototype diversify, developing innovative products for new industries beyond automotive, such as biomedical and industrial, Williamson said.

“The good news is we’re getting things turned around and we’re actually in hiring mode now,” he said. “We’re definitely going to focus on innovation. We’ve been going out, meeting with our customers, learning what our customers need and getting more aligned with our customers.”

The company will add a focus on automation via ongoing partnerships with local universities and apprenticeships, he said. It has also established some co-development agreements with customers that have more R&D space.

Woodgreen ultimately decided to acquire the business because of the employees, Williamson said.

“After spending some time with the team, just the passion the team has for the customers and also just the level of expertise the team has, it was the team versus the business,” he said. “The guys are something special.”

Woodgreen offers performance turnaround, lean manufacturing, strategic deployment and succession planning consulting services. Williamson founded it after doing some consulting work on the side that led to a number of referrals. He plans to share the large company techniques in operational excellence he learned at previous roles in global operations at Rexnord Corp. and Johnson Controls International plc.

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