Monomoy Capital Partners LLC, New York, NY, has acquired Barjan Products LLC, a $140 million distributor of consumer products to travel centers, truck stops and convenience stores. Monomoy paid $20 million in cash and assumed liabilities.
In an unusual transaction structure, Monomoy acquired Barjan’s assets directly from a syndicate of 13 banks led by General Electric Commercial Financial Services, Inc. through a foreclosure and sale of assets under Illinois state law.
Barjan has facilities in Rock Island and East Moline, IL, Reno, NV, and Atlanta, GA. The company manufactures, sources and distributes more than 8,000 individual products, including automotive accessories, chemicals and additives, consumer electronics, novelty products, books, videos, and music. Barjan supplies four of the five national travel center chains and scores of regional and local travel centers.
Mark G. Essig, a turnaround manager retained by the company’s lenders in 2004, will remain with the company and assume the role of CEO. Before joining Barjan, Essig held senior management and restructuring positions at Georgetown Steel and AK Steel.
The transaction was executed through a “friendly foreclosure” proceeding which is a complex but less expensive alternative to bankruptcy for a certain class of asset sales. The bank group led by GE foreclosed on the company’s assets under Article 9 of the Illinois Uniform Commercial Code and sold the assets directly to a Monomoy acquisition vehicle following a statutory notice period. The new company is called Barjan LLC.
The Barjan acquisition is the third by Monomoy since August 2005 and joins Awrey Bakeries, Inc. and Hess Industries, Inc, in the Monomoy portfolio.