Thomas H. Lee Partners L.P. (THL) has reached an agreement to acquire a majority stake in Material Handling Systems Inc. (MHS), a provider of packing system tools for the transportation and logistics industries. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
MHS, founded in 1999, develops control systems and industrial automation technologies for the packing industry. The Louisville, Kentucky-based target handles the mechanical and electrical installation of conveyor belt and sortation systems, in addition to project management tasks such as budget and schedule compliance. MHS currently operates out of six facilities: four in Louisville, one in Wilmington, Ohio and one in Ontario, Canada.
THL is a Boston-based equity firm that specializes in leveraged buyouts, growth capital, special situations, industry consolidations, and recapitalizations. Founded in 1974, THL has raised more than $20 billion in equity capital and has invested in more than 130 businesses. THL’s portfolio currently consists of companies such as iHeartMedia Inc., Univision Communications, First Bancorp, and Party City.
As the e-commerce market continues to grow at a steady pace, logistics and manufacturing companies have grown into attractive targets. Recent deals in the transportation and logistics industry include: CI Capital’s acquisition of Simplified Logistics; Ridgemont Equity Partners’ purchase of logistics company Worldwide Express from Quad-C Management; Graycliff Partners’ investment in “last mile” logistics provider Installs Inc.; American Fast Freight Inc.’s, backed by Jordan Co., acquisition of ocean freight provider Global Transportation Services Inc.; Bregal Sagemount’s investment in freight services company Internet Truckstop Group; and Revelstoke Capital-backed Transport Holdings LLC’s buying truck provider Jones Motor Group.
PricewaterhouseCoopers Corporate Finance LLC is acting as financial adviser to MHS and Baker McKenzie is serving as legal adviser. RBC Capital Markets is acting as financial adviser to THL and Kirkland & Ellis LLP is serving as legal adviser.