New York private equity firm Snow Phipps Group has acquired Winchester Electronics Corp. from Audax Private Equity.
Winchester Electronics, based in South Norwalk, Connecticut, makes custom-engineered electrical wire connectors and other types of interconnect parts for power and data transmission in the military and aerospace, medical, semiconductor, data infrastructure, test-and-measurement and oil-and-gas markets.
Snow Phipps focuses on control investments in middle-market companies—those worth $100 million to $500 million—targeting industrials, services and consumer industries. Audax Private Equity, based in Boston and Menlo Park, California, also focuses on middle-market companies, with a cumulative $3.5 billion investments made in 97 companies plus 491 add-on acquisitions. Audax won Mergers & Acquisitions’ 2015 Mid-Market Award for Private Equity Firm of the Year.
John Pless, partner at Snow Phipps, says his firm will support Winchester’s growth, including adding products, both organically and through acquisitions. Under Audax’s ownership, Winchester made 13 add-on acquisitions, most recently in April with SRI Connector Gage.
Snow Phipps will partner with the existing Winchester management team led by CEO Kevin Perhamus. Jay Twombly, Snow Phipps operating partner, will join Winchester as the non-executive chairman of the board of directors. He was formerly chairman of Boyd Corp., a Snow Phipps portfolio company.
Snow Phipps has been busy lately. In June, the PE firm acquired Efficient Collaborate Retail Marketing Co., which sets up meetings between consumer products manufacturers and retailers. Also in June, through a portfolio company called Teasdale Foods Inc., Snow Phipps acquired Mesa Foods, maker of private-label tortilla chips and taco shells.
Terms of the Winchester deal were not disclosed. Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP was legal counsel to Snow Phipps on the deal, with Lincoln International serving as financial adviser to Winchester and Audax. Kirkland & Ellis LLP was legal counsel for Winchester and Audax.