Aurora Exits Douglas Dynamics With $29.4M Sale

The Los Angeles buyout shop Aurora Capital Group has exited its position in Douglas Dynamics, a Milwaukee-based maker of snowplows and other ice-control equipment for light trucks. Douglas announced that it sold nearly $2 million shares of stock at $14.75 in a secondary offering in early December, clearing $29.4 million for the selling shareholders, including affiliates of Aurora Capital.

Douglas did not sell any shares in the offering nor receive any of the proceeds.

In conjunction with the sale, Michael Marino and Mark Rosenbaum of Aurora Capital vacated their seats on the Douglas board and Douglas reduced the number of its directors to seven from nine. Rosenbaum had served on the board since 2005, Marino since 2009, the company said.

Aurora Capital acquired Douglas for an undisclosed price in March 2004 from AK Steel, according to the Aurora Capital Web site. The firm said the company was suffering from large losses, a debt-heavy balance sheet and an under-funded pension plan. In addition to its hometown operations in Milwaukee, Douglas also has factories in Rockland, Maine, and Johnson City, Tenn., employing about 560 people in all. Aurora Capital took Douglas public in May 2010.

Aurora Capital, founded in 1991, focuses on mid-market companies with enterprise values typically between $150 and $1.5 billion. The firm invests across a range of industries, including aerospace, general industrial, distribution, specialty chemicals, business services, building products, packaging, specialty retail, media and information services.

The firm manages more than $2 billion. It raised $889.98 million for its 2004-vintage buyout fund, Aurora Equity Partners III LP, according to the Thomson One database. Known LP investors include California Public Employees’ Retirement System , Deere & Co., Fire and Police Pension Association of Colorado and the Oregon Public Employees Retirement System, according to Thomson One.

Robert W. Baird & Co. Inc. was the sole book-running manager for the Douglas share offering.