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Aarrowcast Sold to Equity Group

Aug. 29, 2012
President/CEO Ben Grigg, management team will remain Andrew Weller named chairman

Aarrowcast Inc., a Wisconsin ferrous foundry, has been acquired by Industrial Opportunity Partners, a private equity group. The seller was J H Whitney Co., also an investment fund. The cost of the purchase was not announced but the buyer noted that the foundry’s senior managers would remain in place.

Aarrowcast, Shawano, WI, is a gray, ductile, and austempered ductile iron foundry that was established in 1978 and expanded in 1997. Earlier this year it reported it had started work on a 20% capacity expansion focused on its melting, blast cleaning, and automated grinding operations. That project would be completed by mid-2013.

The value of that investment was not released either. The new owners intend to continue the capacity expansion plans, according to IOP senior managing director Adam Gottlieb. “In general, capacity and throughput expansion is the primary emphasis of IOP's investment strategy for Aarrowcast,” Gottlieb explained in an e-mail message.

The plant has three molding lines and six coreless induction furnaces producing over 42,000 tons/year of cast products for agriculture and construction equipment, commercial engine, heavy truck, and wind and solar energy markets. Industrial Opportunity Partners noted that Aarrowcast’s Georg Fischer molding line has North America’s largest (and the world’s second-largest) automated green sand flask (60x85 in.)

Ben Grigg, Aarrowcast’s president and CEO, will remain with the business, and IOP named as the new chairman of the foundry one of its principal investors, Andrew Weller.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with Industrial Opportunity Partners, whose operational experience and strategic support will enhance Aarrowcast’s continuous effort to deliver high-quality products and extraordinary service levels to our customers,” Grigg stated.

Weller reportedly has experience in ferrous foundry management and operations. His online biography indicates he is also the chairman of Center Manufacturing Inc. and a director of Gulf Coast Machine & Supply Co. and Carlson Systems Holdings Inc.

“Aarrowcast has built a reputation with its customers, suppliers, and employees based on unmatched manufacturing abilities, service levels and product breadth. I look forward to working closely with Ben, his team, and all Aarrowcast employees in continuing to invest in the Company to achieve further growth,” according to Weller.

IOP lists a range of holdings, notably Edelbrock LLC, a specialty auto parts maker and after-market supplier that operates in-house sand casting and permanent mold casting. Other IOP companies include Center Manufacturing Inc., Toledo Molding & Die Inc., and Gulf Coast Machine & Supply Co., and several more.

Aarrowcast will be the first holding in IOP’s new Industrial Opportunity Partners II L.P. fund, for which it has raised $275 million in commitments.

About the Author

Robert Brooks | Content Director

Robert Brooks has been a business-to-business reporter, writer, editor, and columnist for more than 20 years, specializing in the primary metal and basic manufacturing industries. His work has covered a wide range of topics, including process technology, resource development, material selection, product design, workforce development, and industrial market strategies, among others. Currently, he specializes in subjects related to metal component and product design, development, and manufacturing — including castings, forgings, machined parts, and fabrications.

Brooks is a graduate of Kenyon College (B.A. English, Political Science) and Emory University (M.A. English.)