AEA invested in PLZ Aeroscience Corporation (“PLZ”), a combination of Plaze, Inc. (“Plaze”) and Claire-Sprayway, Inc. (“Claire-Sprayway”) in August 2005 and November 2005, respectively. The Plaze division is a full-service outsourced contract packager of short-run aerosol products and the Claire-Sprayway division is a leading manufacturer and marketer of branded and private label aerosol cleaning agents, disinfectants, air fresheners, adhesives, lubricants, insecticides and automotive detail products. The Plaze division serves consumer and institutional products companies that outsource the formulation, filling and packaging of their aerosol products while the Claire-Sprayway division sells principally to the institutional market.
AEA DIFFERENTIATOR: AEA SOURCING EDGE
- PLZ was a proprietary transaction sourced through the Chairman of Kranson Industries, Inc., an AEA Middle Market Fund portfolio company at the initial time of investment.
- AEA SBF was able to effectively leverage the firm’s Executive and Participant deal network and industry knowledge in order to successfully complete an investment in PLZ. Post acquisition, AEA also included two of its Participants on the company’s Board of Directors.
- AEA’s extensive network involvement within this transaction highlights the importance and advantage of AEA’s long-standing, expert relationships in various stages of the investment process.
AEA VALUE CREATION
- Organized and negotiated the acquisition of Claire-Sprayway, doubling the size of the business and generating significant synergies. AEA subsequently led the acquisitions of CPC Aeroscience, Holy Cow and Camie Campbell, greatly expanding PLZ’s product footprint.
- Supported development of retail sales channel, including distribution wins at big box retailers such as Walmart, Safeway and Target, while also expanding branded product offerings.
- Analyzed and supported multiple plant consolidations and expansion projects to double capacity. This resulted in the consolidation of two older facilities at Claire-Sprayway and CPC into a new plant in Pacific, MO.
- AEA recapitalized PLZ in 2007 and issued a dividend to investors.
- AEA successfully closed the recapitalization of PLZ with another financial sponsor in 2011. Through this second recapitalization, the financial sponsor took majority control with the existing shareholders (including AEA SBF) remaining as minority investors.