Wind Point Logs Busy Week Of Add-Ons

Targets: The Collector’s Guide; Old House Journal; Wicks Business Information; WorkRite

Price: Undisclosed

Sponsor: Wind Point Partners

With four add-on deals closed in one week, mid-market specialist Wind Point Partners burned up the acquisitions scoreboard in early July.

Three of the Chicago-based firm’s platforms—Active Interest Media, Summit Business Media and Knape & Vogt Manufacturing Co.—snatched up a total of four companies. The firm did not disclose financial details of the deals.

“Four in a week might be a record” for us, said Jim TenBroek, a managing director, though the recent flurry of activity is consistent with the firm’s strategy of creating value through 25 to 30 add-on acquisitions a year across its portfolio. TenBroek added that each of the portfolio companies is led by a team of seasoned acquisitions executives. (Wind Point typically replaces the top executives at platform companies.)

Active Interest Media racked up two acquisitions: The Collector’s Guide, an annual guidebook highlighting the art and culture of New Mexico; and Old House Journal, which came with its companion publications and Web sites, including New Old House Magazine, The Restoration Directory and Traditional Products Directory. Efrem “Skip” Zimbalist III heads up the publisher of enthusiast magazines and related consumer shows that has been in Wind Point’s portfolio since October 2003. Active Interest Media handled its two deals with an existing credit line and didn’t require Wind Point equity, TenBroek said.

A second Wind Point portfolio company, Summit Business Media, added to its stable of business-to-business publications with the purchase of Wicks Business Information, publisher of such titles such as Investment Advisor, Credit Union Times, InsideCounsel and Treasury & Risk. Summit Business Media came together in November 2006 when Wind Point acquired Pfingsten Publishing and Highline Media. Chairman and CEO William Reilly earlier founded Primedia and later served as CEO of F&W Publications.

To acquire Wicks the firm invested from the $476 million Wind Point Partners V LP that closed in 2003, and from the $700 million Wind Point Partners VI LP, which closed in 2005. Summit Business Media’s buying spree isn’t over, TenBroek said. Wind Point, which originally set aside $150 million from Funds V and VI for the roll-up, still has a “substantial amount left to help continue to build the business,” TenBroek said.

Rounding out the week’s deal-making, portfolio company Knape & Vogt, a manufacturer of shelving, drawer sliders and ergonomic office products, snatched up WorkRite. The add-on company designs and builds ergonomic office products ranging from adjustable computer keyboard platforms to flat screen monitor arms.

Wind Point acquired Knape & Vogt in July 2006 and brought in Peter Martin, formerly president and CEO of The Holmes Group and a onetime president of Newell Rubbermaid’s global windows fashion group, to lead the company.

Knape & Vogt belongs to Fund VI.—J.P.