Signaling an upswing in middle-market M&A throughout the third quarter and coming off an aggressive buying streak that won it Mergers & Acquisitions’ M&A Mid-Market Award for Private Equity Firm of the Year for 2012, the Riverside Co. announced two closings and one exit.

The New York- and Cleveland-based private equity firm purchased Rutland Plastics Inc., a Greenville, N.C.-based producer of screen-printing inks for the apparel industry. The company’s products are also used in compounds designated for coating, molding, and other applications for automotive and industrial customers.

Separately, Riverside picked up Kygen Co., a Centennial, Colo.-based maker of interactive dog toys. The target designs various dog toy brands, including Plush Puppies, Invincibles, Outward Hound and Dog Games.

BMO Harris Bank and GE Antares Capital provided senior financing and PNC Erieview Capital provided mezzanine financing for the Rutland deal, while Deerpath financed the Kygen deal.

Terms of each transaction remain undisclosed.

Both acquisitions follow the sale of AIA Corp. to McNally Capital for an undisclosed price. The Neenah, Wis.-based company, with about 300 affiliates in the U.S., is a provider of promotional products and corporate apparel.

The flurry of activity reflects what most dealmakers believe will be a strong third quarter after the slow first half. (For more coverage on the second quarter, see “Q2 2013: Deal Flow Still Slow, but Hope Springs Eternal.”)

“There has been a significant pickup in dealflow already, not unlike what we saw in late 2012,” Riverside partner Robert Landis told Mergers & Acquisitions in July, when Riverside closed a series of purchases.

“But I would be surprised if the rest of 2013 is as robust as the second half of 2012.”

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