AEA Investors




AEA invested in Industrial Controls Distributors (“ICD”), a leading independent distributor of process controls, HVAC controls, and automated industrial valves in the Midwest and Eastern regions of the United States in December 2006. The company primarily serves the maintenance, repair, and overhaul markets and sells to installers, contractors and end-users directly.

  • AEA’s broad expertise in both the distribution and industrial sectors, supported by a strong track record growing businesses through acquisition, was a differentiating factor with ICD management.
  • AEA’s favorable reputation in the market coupled with AEA SBF’s unique focus on lower middle market sized companies provided a greater level of certainty for ICD’s sellers, allowing AEA to become the first choice among a competitive buyer group in a highly active market environment.
  • Sourced multiple add-on opportunities resulting in three major accretive acquisitions which expanded both geographic and product footprints.
  • Analyzed and supported significant investments in organic growth to transform ICD from a field sale model to a multi-channel marketer. Major initiatives included:
    – Launch of eCommerce and catalog programs leveraging experience and advisors from In The Swim and Colony Hardware
    – Launch of dedicated outbound marketing efforts in gauges and HVAC
    – Opening of greenfield offices in New England and North Carolina

  • Built an experienced and talented Board of Directors from the AEA network, further expanding the distribution services industry knowledge base.
  • AEA completed the sale of ICD to a strategic buyer in 2011.
  • The sale was in line with AEA’s initial investment thesis of growing ICD to an integrated platform that would serve as an accretive add-on for a larger strategic.