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News   Prairie Capital announces the exit of StatLab June 2017
June 2017 Prairie Capital announces the exit of StatLab
Prairie Capital, a middle-market, Chicago-based private equity firm, is pleased to announce the successful sale of StatLab Medical Products (“StatLab” or the “Company”) from Prairie Capital IV (“Prairie”). This exit highlights Prairie’s investment strategy of partnering with founders and management teams to build market-leading companies in high-growth industries.

Prairie sold StatLab to Cressey & Company LP, a healthcare-focused private investment firm. StatLab is a leading developer and manufacturer of consumable diagnostic supplies for anatomic pathology laboratories. The Company’s products include those necessary for physicians to accurately diagnose and treat cancer. The Company sells to more than 3,000 physician and laboratory customers across the United States. StatLab, founded in 1976, was family owned and operated until Prairie’s investment in 2009. Daniel Henn and Michael Aubrey partnered with Prairie to acquire the Company and joined StatLab’s management team as Co-Presidents.

The Prairie investment thesis focused on a transformation of StatLab from a regionally-focused, value-added distributor, to a nationally-focused, vertically integrated manufacturer. The transformation required substantial company-building investments including: (i) hiring, training, and supporting a national sales force; (ii) custom building a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility; (iii) strategically expanding the branded product offering; and (iv) providing the requisite human capital, information technology, finance, quality and regulatory resources to support growth. These investments, among others, enabled StatLab to more than double revenue and more than triple EBITDA during Prairie’s hold period.
May 2017 Prairie Capital partners with the management of Architectural Lighting Works
Prairie Capital VI, LP partnered with the founder and management team of Architectural Lighting Works (the “Company” or “ALW”), to recapitalize the business. Headquartered in Oakland, CA, ALW is a designer and assembler of architectural LED lighting fixtures and participates in the large, fragmented and rapidly growing LED lighting industry.

ALW has a strong brand reputation in the architectural LED lighting market providing high quality, design-oriented fixtures, especially for the slot and linear product category. ALW focuses on providing made-to-order lighting solutions, primarily serving customers in the commercial market as well as select healthcare, retail, hospitality and education applications. The Company’s LED fixtures are sold nationwide through a diversified rep network of over 50 independent sales agencies. The ALW brand was further strengthened through the recent acquisition of Neidhardt, Inc. in January 2017. The addition of the Neidhardt brand expands ALW’s portfolio of decorative LED luminaires and enhances the Company’s reach within the high-end architectural and design communities.

LED is the fastest growing segment of the lighting market and is projected to continue growing at a double-digit rate annually. LED has experienced rapidly accelerating adoption rates driven by a variety of benefits offered by the technology relative to incumbent lighting solutions, including increased energy efficiency, declining payback periods, more flexible and aesthetic design capabilities, and increased compatibility with intelligent lighting solutions. Despite the technology’s increasing adoption rates, LED’s penetration of the installed U.S. lighting base remains in the early stages, providing significant runway for growth.

Prairie Capital partnered with management to support and accelerate continued company-building investments in new product development, equipment, human capital, finance and IT systems for improved operating efficiencies.

For more information on ALW, please contact: Christopher Killackey at Patrick Jensen or DJ Lipke.
February 2017 Prairie Capital partners with the co-founders of BOTE
Prairie Capital VI, LP partnered with Corey and Magda Cooper, the founders of BOTE, LLC (the “Company”), to recapitalize this rapidly growing lifestyle brand in the stand-up paddleboard (“SUP”) market. BOTE was founded in Destin, FL by the Coopers with the purpose to reshape the SUP industry from the ground up, and to define a culture by developing products that would appeal to all walks of life. The BOTE brand has been built on the concepts of innovation, simplicity, and functionality that define a lifestyle. BOTE uses grassroots marketing, through proprietary digital content creation and brand ambassadors, to raise brand awareness. BOTE boards and accessories are sold through independent specialty outdoor retailers and select national retail chains, as well as the Company’s ecommerce website (www.boteboard.com).

Stand-up paddle boarding is one of America’s fastest growing outdoor sports, with participation rates expected to continue growing at a rapid pace for the foreseeable future. BOTE is a strong lifestyle brand with outstanding products in a highly fragmented category. Prairie Capital partnered with the Coopers to support and accelerate continued company-building investments in human capital, systems, brand awareness, and new product development.

For more information on BOTE, please contact Darren Snyder or DJ Lipke.
November 2016 Prairie Capital VI closes at $350 million hard cap
Prairie Capital, a leading source of private equity for the acquisition of family and entrepreneur-owned businesses, has announced the closing of its sixth fund. After a relatively quick nine-month fund-raising process, Prairie Capital VI, L.P. was oversubscribed and closed at its $350 million hard cap. Prairie maintained strong support from existing limited partners of the $300 million Prairie Capital V, L.P., while also receiving significant interest from a new roster of investors interested in forging long-term relationships with Prairie.

Prairie Capital focuses exclusively on being the first private equity investor in growth oriented, U.S. based companies with EBITDA of $4 to $12 million. Prairie partners with entrepreneurs and talented management teams to build market-leading companies in growing industries. Since its inception in 1997, Prairie Capital has invested in 86 platform companies.
November 2016 Prairie Capital announces two successful exits
Prairie Capital is pleased to announce two recent exits from Prairie Capital V. These successful exits highlight Prairie’s thematic investment strategy of partnering with founders and management teams to build market-leading platforms in targeted, high-growth industries.

In May, Prairie Capital sold TeacherMatch to PeopleAdmin, a portfolio company of Vista Equity Partners. Founded in 2012, TeacherMatch provides cloud-based recruitment, screening, professional development, and workforce planning solutions for K-12 school districts. Prairie Capital, in conjunction with Ron Huberman, identified a need for school districts to improve student success by changing how teachers are hired. Huberman led a team that developed a data-driven, research-based and analytically predictive teacher assessment tool, called the Educators Professional Inventory (EPI), designed to predict which teacher candidates are most likely to deliver student growth.

After the successful development of the EPI, TeacherMatch completed three add-on acquisitions and launched four new products. Together with significant company-building investments in management and technology, TeacherMatch was transformed into a comprehensive, rapidly growing K-12 talent management platform.

In October, Prairie Capital sold Riverchase to GTCR. Founded by Dr. Andrew Jaffe, Riverchase provides a comprehensive suite of advanced dermatologic support services, offering patients treatment options for skin cancer, general dermatology, and cosmetic surgery. Riverchase’s focus on providing the highest standard of care using advanced and differentiated treatment options, while fostering a positive patient experience, has positioned it as a leading dermatology services platform.

Prairie Capital identified dermatology practice management as an attractive business model in a growing industry sector, culminating in 2012 with Prairie’s investment in Riverchase. Prairie partnered with Dr. Jaffe and management to provide capital and support for Riverchase’s growth. Over the course of Prairie’s hold period, Riverchase expanded from 6 locations to 25 locations while making numerous company-building investments in management, technology systems, new service offerings, site selection and add-on acquisitions.
October 2015 National Enzyme Company has been acquired by Prairie Capital V
National Enzyme Company was founded in 1932 and is based in Forsythe, Missouri. The company is the leading manufacturer of specialty enzymes for the digestive health market.

National Enzyme Company serves as a contract manufacturer of vitamins and supplements and offers its customers end-to-end product management, including ingredients, formulation development, creative packaging and label design, production and packaging, and laboratory testing. In addition to digestive enzymes, the company produces probiotics, vitamins, minerals, botanicals, extracts and other products. National Enzyme Company serves customers both in the US and internationally.

Prairie Capital partnered with Skyline Global Partners and Management to acquire National Enzyme Company from its shareholders.

For more information on National Enzyme Company, please contact: Darren Snyder or Sean McNally
June 2015 Premier Dealer Services has been recapitalized by management and Prairie Capital V
Premier Dealer Services ("PDS") is an integrated provider of vehicle service contracts ("VSCs") and related auto warranty products with offices in Dublin, OH and San Diego, CA. PDS designs, underwrites, markets, sells, and administers a broad product portfolio of VSCs and related products that are insured by independent insurance companies, captive reinsurance and dealer owned reinsurance entities. PDS's products are marketed through a network of independent agencies that sell products primarily through franchised automobile dealerships covering all 50 states in the United States and six Canadian provinces.

Prairie Capital partnered with PDS's owner and the members of the senior management team to recapitalize the company to support its continued growth.

For more information on Premier Dealer Services, please contact: Christopher Killackey, Patrick Jensen, or D.J. Lipke
April 2015 Tower Engineering Professionals has been recapitalized by management and Prairie Capital V
Tower Engineering Professionals ("TEP"), founded in 1997 and based in Raleigh, North Carolina, is one of the largest multi-discipline engineering services firms focused on serving the telecommunications industry.TEP employs approximately 300 employees, the majority of whom are civil, structural, and/or geotechnical engineers serving independent and large, publicly-traded wireless communication and tower leasing companies.

TEP has a leading national footprint, maintaining licenses in all 50 states, the majority of the Canadian Provinces, and other international locations.TEP offers structural engineering, inspection and mapping services, civil engineering, surveying, environmental, geotechnical engineering and material testing services, construction, and PM&E services for the telecommunications, utility, and renewable energy industries.

Prairie partnered withTEP's founders, the members of the senior management team, and Cognitive Capital Partners to recapitalize the company to support its continued growth and development.

For more information on Tower Engineering Professionals, please contact Bryan Daniels or Darren Snyder
February 2015 StyleCraft has been recapitalized by management and Prairie Capital V
StyleCraft Home Collection, founded in 1968, is based in Southaven, Mississippi. The company designs and markets home decor products including residential lighting, wall decor, decorative accessories, accent furniture, as well as decorative pieces for the outdoor and garden categories.

StyleCraft provides superior product design, excellent supply chain logistics and exceptional customer service, bringing high-end design to the market at an affordable price point. StyleCraft serves over 3,000 independent home furnishings stores in the US and internationally as well as most major retail channels. The company has an international sourcing network, including an extensive on-the-ground presence in China.

Prairie partnered with members of StyleCraft’s founding family and other members of the senior management team to recapitalize the company.

For more information on StyleCraft, please contact: Darren Snyder or D.J. Lipke.
April 2014 Prairie Capital V invests in DRB Systems
DRB Systems, founded in 1984 and based in Akron, Ohio, is the leading provider of point of sale (POS) software, loyalty promotion modules, control solutions, and related products to the conveyorized car wash industry. Over the course of the Company’s thirty-year history, its products have been installed in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and Canada and users of its technology solutions have cared for over three billion cars. The Company sells turnkey systems that include a complete package of outside hardware and proprietary software developed by DRB Systems. The Company’s systems are designed to enhance the consumer’s experience and the operational efficiency of the car wash operator. The Company’s core product offerings include (i) SiteWatch®, a Windows-based POS management system; (ii) TunnelWatch®, an automated control system for conveyorized car washes; and (iii) Xpress Pay Terminal®, an outdoor self-pay kiosk system. DRB also offers numerous related products and software modules. Prairie partnered with DRB’s founders and members of the senior management team to recapitalize the Company.
January 2014 Prairie Capital bolsters funeral products platform through Messenger’s acquisition of Deaton-Kennedy
Prairie Capital V helped to facilitate Messenger’s acquisition of Deaton-Kennedy Company from the Deaton family, thereby furthering Messenger’s market leadership position. For 100 years, Messenger has served the death care industry as a manufacturer and distributor of specialty stationery and related products. Messenger provides its products to approximately 8,000 funeral homes located across the United States and Canada. Click hear to read the announcement.
May 2013 Prairie Capital V invests in Damac Products
Damac Products, founded in 1984 and based in La Mirada, California, is a leading manufacturer of custom, highly-engineered infrastructure solutions for the data center market. Products include server racks and enclosures, aisle containment and cable management solutions, power distribution units, wall mount cabinets and related infrastructure accessories. Damac’s strong engineering capability allows the Company to create customized solutions for each customer’s unique data center needs. Customers include leaders in cloud computing, social media and ecommerce. Prairie partnered with Crescendo Capital Partners, and Pleasant Bay Capital Partners to acquire the Company from its founders.
May 2013 Prairie Capital congratulates Pioneer Metal Finishing on its acquisition of the Parts Finishing Group
Pioneer Metal Finishing is a nationally recognized provider of cosmetic, corrosion resistant and wear resistant coatings for the aerospace, industrial, medical, military, recreational, electronics and automotive industries. In 2007, Prairie Capital partnered with the management team of Pioneer to pursue an aggressive organic and acquisition growth strategy. Growing from four facilities at the time of the investment to twelve facilities in ten locations today, including Queretaro, Mexico.

Parts Finishing Group (PFG) is one of the largest contract service suppliers to companies making components for domestic and international auto manufacturers. PFG specializes in the application of adhesives use in metal-to-rubber bonding, enamel and epoxy paint, and application of dry-film lubricants.

The PFG transaction was originally sourced by Prairie, then diligenced and executed by the talented management team at Pioneer.
March 2013 Prairie Capital welcomes Patrick Jensen
Prairie Capital is pleased to welcome Patrick Jensen, as Managing Director.

Patrick Jensen currently serves as a Managing Director of Prairie Capital, and is responsible for sourcing and evaluating potential investments, structuring and negotiating transactions, and working with portfolio companies. Prior to joining Prairie Capital, Patrick enjoyed a successful fifteen-year career in investment banking, most recently as a Managing Director in the Chicago office of Duff & Phelps, which he joined in 2000. Patrick began his career at Vine Street Partners, Inc., a boutique investment bank focused on sell-side, buy-side and capital raising transactions.
January 2013 Prairie Capital V invests in Riverchase Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery
Based in Naples, Florida, Riverchase Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery is a leading provider of dermatology and cosmetic services in Southwest Florida. The company provides a comprehensive suite of advanced dermatologic services, offering cutting-edge treatment options for skin cancer, general dermatology, and cosmetic procedures. Riverchase’s experienced management team, broad service offering, scalable business model, and leading market position create a strong platform to take advantage of multiple growth opportunities both organically and through acquisition. Prairie Capital partnered with Riverchase’s founder to recapitalize the Company.
July 2012 Prairie Capital welcomes Joe Johnson
Prairie Capital is pleased to welcome Joe Johnson as Senior Analyst. Joe assists with evaluating, structuring, due diligence, and financial modeling of investment opportunities, as well as financial analysis and industry research in support of portfolio investments.
July 2012 Prairie Capital V invests in Swiss-American Products, Inc.
Swiss-American Products, Inc. is an FDA compliant developer, manufacturer, and marketer of clinically-proven skin and wound care products.
June 2012 Prairie Capital V invests in TeacherMatch, LLC.
TeacherMatch is building an industry leading platform with cutting edge analytics to deliver distinctive services to districts, schools and current and future teachers.
February 2012 Prairie Capital V acquires Industrial Water Treatment Solutions Corp.
Based in Chicago, Industrial Water Treatment Solutions is a manufacturer and distributor of proprietary and innovative chemical products for the industrial water services market.
January 2012 Prairie Capital welcomes D.J. Lipke
Prairie Capital is pleased to welcome D.J. Lipke as Vice President responsible for sourcing and evaluating potential investment opportunities, leading due diligence, structuring transactions, and supporting portfolio company investments.
June 2011 Prairie Capital V acquires Captek Softgel Inc.
Founded in Cerritos, California in 1979, Captek is a leading FDA-compliant manufacturer and distributor of specialty softgel vitamin and supplement formulations to the U.S. and Asian nutraceutical markets. The company provides customized, difficult-to-make formulations under manufacturing and distribution relationships for leading global brands worldwide. Captek’s experienced management team, unique softgel capabilities, strong customer base, and access to growing markets position it well to take advantage of multiple growth opportunities. Prairie Capital partnered with Skyline Global Partners and Triangle Capital to purchase a majority stake in Captek and a related entity from its founding entrepreneur.
April 2011 Prairie Capital partners with Vierville Capital to purchase PBE Group
Prairie Capital partnered with Vierville Capital to purchase Pyott-Boone Electronics, Inc. from a family ownership group. Pyott-Boone, founded in 1971 and based in North Tazewell, Virginia, is a leading developer, manufacturer and marketer of an extensive line of technology-enabled communication, tracking and monitoring products for underground mining and tunneling. The Company is a leading supplier to the U.S. coal industry through its extensive network of distributors and direct relationships with major coal producers. The Company also provides subcontract assembly services to the defense industry. Pyott-Boone’s substantial installed base of mines, focused engineering and design capabilities, and national coverage combine to offer premium branded products with superior customer service. Pyott-Boone’s significant growth, strong operating margins, product breadth, and reputation for quality and service create a solid platform for growth in an attractive industry.
March 2011 Prairie Capital V leads the acquisition of Northfield, a medical equipment repair and service company
Prairie Capital partnered with Jackson Partners to purchase a majority stake in the company from its founding entrepreneurs. Founded in Glen Allen, Virginia in 1994, Northfield is a medical equipment repair and service company. The company repairs endoscopes, general and specialty surgical tools, drills, diamond knives, micro instruments, needle holders, saws, regulators, cameras, power instruments, fiber optic cables and other items. Northfield's 60 independent sales representatives service over 1,100 hospitals and surgery centers in 34 states. The company's three repair facilities and employee base of highly skilled technicians offer quick turnaround times on high quality repairs at competitive pricing; a combination which gives Northfield an advantage over OEMs, the primary competitors. Northfield's experienced management team and investment partner coupled with a strong, sustainable industry demand, driven by an aging population and a desire by hospitals to extend the useful life of their assets to reduce capital spending, create a solid platform for future growth.
February 2011 Prairie Capital welcomes Ron Huberman
Prairie Capital and Chicago Growth Partners are excited to announce their collective partnership with Ron Huberman. Ron's focus on deal origination in public safety, transportation and K-12 education is closely aligned with Prairie Capital's long history of investing in these industries. Ron is also working on government-related growth opportunities for current portfolio companies, utilizing his experience, knowledge and contacts in these sectors. View press release (pdf).
November 2010 Prairie Capital V holds final closing bringing aggregate investor commitments to $300 million
Prairie Capital has successfully closed its fifth fund at its pre-established hard cap of $300 million of committed capital. Prairie will continue its strategy of acquiring high growth niche manufacturing, education and service companies at the low end of the middle market. Prairie intends to make primarily control equity investments with occasional supportive subordinated debt investments in aggregate increments of $10 million to $30 million. Fund commitments include significant institutional investments from pension funds, universities, and investment managers.
June 2010 Prairie Capital V leads the acquisition of Messenger, a funeral products company, from BIC Group
Prairie Capital and the management team of Messenger partnered to purchase the company from Norwood Promotional Products, a subsidiary of the BIC Group. Founded in 1913 and headquartered in Auburn, Indiana, Messenger is a leading manufacturer and distributor of specialty stationery and related products to the death care industry. Messenger products are sold to over 8,000 funeral home directors who, in turn, retail these products to families for memorial services. In additional to stationery, Messenger products include cards, displays and urns. The company’s experienced management team and national sales network combine to provide its diverse customer base with premium products and service. Messenger’s consistent performance, strong margins, and their reputation for quality, are a solid platform for future growth.
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