Equity Firm Buys Plews


Private equity firm Eigen Capital acquired Plews & Edelmann, whose products include lubricant equipment and biobased lubricants, from British industrial conglomerate Tomkins plc. Terms were not disclosed.

A good portion of the Plews business caters to the automotive aftermarket, and theres another element of the business that is consumer and industrial oriented, Eigen Capital partner Brian Duffy told Lube Report. That longstanding relationship with the automotive aftermarket, and its relationship with big box retailers was really appealing to us for a variety of reasons.

Duffy said Eigen is enthusiastic about the growth potential for Plews UltraLube-branded biobased lubricant line because the company already has an established distribution chain. Its really just a matter of getting the word out to consumers to say Hey, there is another alternative. Its increasingly cost competitive.

Palo Alto, Calif.-based Eigen Capital was founded by business partners Duffy and Christophe Mallard about 18 months ago. Christophe and I both have 10 years plus experience in private equity working for other shops, Duffy said. We have done a number of deals including some in the oil/petroleum space. The Plews acquisition is the first portfolio company acquired under the Eigen banner, he added.

He emphasized the firm is very satisfied with what the Plews management team is doing and what it has been able to accomplish so far. Were more strategic guidance type investors, so we dont anticipate much by way of change other than looking for ways to grow the business on the platform that they have, Duffy said.

From the beginning, we felt the team at Eigen with their no-nonsense approach was the right one to support our plans to aggressively focus on growth and new product development like our UltraLube biobased lubricants, said Steve Venghaus, president of Plews.

Headquartered in Dixon, Ill., Plews supplies a variety of automotive and industrial equipment, lubrication equipment and lubricating greases, oils and sprays to customers in the automotive aftermarket, industrial, marine, heavy-duty, hardware and home improvement markets.

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