Blue Point Expands Metals Investments –

Metal Technology Solutions, a holding company formed by Blue Point Capital Partners, has acquired Sheboygan, Wis.-based Eclipse Manufacturing Company for an undisclosed sum.

Blue Point Capital, a Cleveland-based private equity firm focusing on industrial deals, saw in Eclipse “a very high quality manufacturer of stamped and assembled products,” said Sean Ward, principal of the firm. Blue Point was the sole investor of outside capital. Company management retained an undisclosed percentage of the firm.

The acquisition was made through Blue Point Capital Partners LP, a fund for which the firm expects a first close in the first quarter. Its target amount is $400 million. Today, the fund has gathered roughly $290 million and has made 10 investments.

Over the summer, Blue point acquired a complementary subsidiary of Metal Technology Solutions called Commercial Metal Forming, a maker of cold-formed metal products, tank ends and tank accessories for storage vessels with $50 million in annual sales.

“We believe customers of Commercial Metal Forming can be served by the capabilities of Eclipse,” said Ward. “Their geographic locations are also complementary, and there are synergies from a purchasing and procurement standpoint. Both companies are leading niche players with a solid history of profitability,” he added.

Eclipse is a manufacturer of precision metal stampings and assemblies with customers in a variety of markets including Tecumseh Products, Briggs and Stratton, Emerson and Johnson Controls. Eclipse has approximately 260 employees and $30 million in sales.

“The company has averaged over 20% Ebitda margins over five years,” Ward said.

He also said there will be opportunity for the companies to learn from each other in the manufacturing and engineering area, and for MTS to offer its customers a broader array of products.

“In the case of Eclipse and CMF, both companies are metal stampers, but Eclipse produces thin wall high volume stamped parts and assemblies,” said Bill Kowal, president and CEO of MTS, in a statement.

Ward acknowledged it’s a tough economy for manufacturing, but said, “We believe if we develop a leading market player that is profitable and diversified it will be attractive no matter what the environment.”

Blue Point will add a new general partner to the Eclipse team but otherwise anticipates no management changes or additional hires.