PrimeSource Being Sold from One PE Firm to Another

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PrimeSource Being Sold from One PE Firm to Another

Distributor of specialty building materials trades hands and will now serve as Clearlake Capital Group's latest platform for organic growth and add-on acquisitions in this sector.

Specialty building materials distributor PrimeSource, Irving, Texas, is being sold from one private equity firm to another. Its previous owner, Platinum Equity, announced Monday that it has agreed to sell PrimeSource — its official corporate moniker is PriSo Holding Corp. — to Clearlake Capital Group L.P. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Founded in 1990, PrimeSource distributes more than 23,000 SKUs sourced from more than 500 vendors in 16 countries throughout Asia, Europe and North America. Platinum Equity acquired the company in 2015 from Itochu Corp. Following the acquisition, Platinum Equity’s M&A and operations teams drove a comprehensive operational improvement and transformation program.

“We deployed the full range of our M&A&O toolkit, helping the company grow strategically while enhancing its capabilities in supply chain management, logistics, salesforce effectiveness and technology applications,” said Jacob Kotzubei, Platinum Equity partner. “By investing in growth and fundamentally improving the Company’s operational underpinnings, PrimeSource substantially increased earnings and is well positioned to sustain its momentum.”

“PrimeSource has been a fantastic success story,” said Todd Golditch, Platinum Equity managing director. “Platinum Equity has a demonstrated track record successfully investing in and creating value in the building products space over many years and PrimeSource is no exception. It has been a pleasure partnering with the PrimeSource management team led by Tom Koos, and we look forward to following the company’s continued success in the years ahead.”

Koos, PrimeSource’s CEO, said he is proud of the collaboration with Platinum Equity and excited about the opportunity to partner with Clearlake.

“We are grateful to Platinum Equity for the support over the past several years. They have been instrumental in transforming PrimeSource and their operating model has been key to our success,” said Koos. “Our leadership group is thrilled for the next step. I have known José  E. Feliciano, Behdad Eghbali, Colin Leonard and the team at Clearlake for over a decade, having not only been a CEO for one of their previous portfolio companies but also in my capacity as a board member and advisor to several Clearlake portfolio companies. They are the optimal partners for PrimeSource at this stage in our Company’s evolution.  We are looking forward to continuing our exciting growth trajectory in the coming years.”

Added José E. Feliciano, co-founder and managing partner at Clearlake: “We are excited to partner with Tom, Bill, and the entire PrimeSource management team. This new investment is a great example of our focus and expertise in the specialty industrial distribution sector. We look forward to leveraging Clearlake’s O.P.S.® playbook to capitalize on the Company’s market leadership and strong momentum to accelerate growth through both organic initiatives and acquisitions.”

And Colin Leonard, partner at Clearlake, said: “We have long admired PrimeSource for the breadth of its distribution network and unparalleled sourcing infrastructure. We look forward to investing behind the Company to bolster these capabilities, expand our product offering and increase the value PrimeSource delivers to its customers.”

Moelis & Company is serving as Platinum Equity’s financial adviser on the sale, and Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP is serving as Platinum Equity’s legal advisor. Deutsche Bank Securities is acting as Clearlake’s financial advisor and Kirkland & Ellis LLP is serving as Clearlake’s legal counsel on the transaction.

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