The Riverside Company this month acquired Vienna, Austria-based Ceram Insulators as part of an international deal that establishes Riverside as the second largest porcelain insulator manufacturer in the world, and the largest outside of Asia.
Ceram Insulators joins a portfolio that includes Porcelain Products Co. (PPC), a large U.S. manufacturer of electrical porcelain insulators. These devices are used in overhead electrical utility distribution systems. In 1999, Riverside completed an add-on acquisition of Cooper Power‘s porcelain manufacturing facility in Macomb, Ill., providing PPC a third manufacturing plant with significant capacity.
Ceram operates plants in Austria, France, Germany, Sweden and Slovakia. It also owns 10 disparate companies that include three real estate holding firms, a technical ceramics manufacturer that produces wear-resistant ceramic parts ranging from valve plates for sanitary faucets to ballistic armor tiles, and a global trading company.
The combined PPC-Ceram organization will be renamed The Insulator Company, with combined sales of $110 million. It will employ more than 1,400 in the U.S. and Europe. Atlanta will be the headquarters.
“Ceram Insulators has the best technology in the world, and the U.S. is a huge, booming growth market for it,” said Andrew Strauss, partner at The Riverside Company. “Among electrical porcelain manufacturers, PPC has the best distribution in the country, so it’s a terrific match. PPC focuses on smaller porcelain for lower voltage applications, while Ceram focuses on higher voltage applications, making the products perfectly complementary.”
The acquisition is the latest in Riverside’s 2000 Riverside Capital Appreciation Fund L.P. (RCAF 2000), which expects to have a final close soon. Riverside, which operates out of four U.S. locations, is a buyout specialist focusing on companies with market valuations between $10 million and $100 million.