Aurora Plastics

Wind Point Partners, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan and a former plastics company CEO have partnered to buy Aurora Plastics Inc., maker of pellet and powder plastics compounds.

Aurora Plastics, based in Streetsboro, Ohio, produces customized compounds for making rigid polyvinyl chloride, or PVC, which its customers use to make materials used in decks, window frames, fences, furniture, hoses, pipes and recreation vehicles. The company claims to have the two newest PVC manufacturing plants in the U.S., in Streetsboro and Welcome, North Carolina. Wind Point’s investment will help Aurora expand geographically and through new product development, says Nathan Brown, managing director at the PE firm.

Wind Point, a Chicago-based private equity firm, has been an active investor in plastic compounding, extrusion, film and converting businesses, including Citadel Plastics and Argotec, both of which it sold; which makes flexible paper and plastic packaging. One of Aurora’s buyers is Mike Fitzpatrick, former CEO of Citadel Plastics Holdings, who will serve as the chairman of Aurora’s holding company. Fitzpatrick ran Wind Point-owned Citadel Plastics from 2007 to 2012, helping the company triple in size before the PE firm sold it, and has served as an executive adviser partner at Wind Point since 2005. Guy Broadbent, also a Wind Point adviser partner, will also serve on the Aurora board. Broadbent was CEO of Argotec, a Wind Point-owned specialty plastic film manufacturer that he helped double in size.

Wind Point has raised more than $3 billion from investors since its inception in 1984. Ontario Teachers is Canada's largest single-profession pension plan, with $171 billion in net assets.

Recent plastics M&A has included Sabert Corp. acquiring another plastic food packaging maker, Mullinix Packages Inc., from Mason Wells; Prism Plastics, backed by Altus Capital Partners, buying auto parts supplier Tech Molded Plastics Inc.; and Maroon Group LLC, a distributor to the plastics, rubber and construction sectors, picking up U.S. Chemicals, supplier of acids and oxides.

Financing for the Aurora transaction was provided by Antares Holdings, LStar Capital, CPPIB and TIAA Global Asset Management. Wind Point’s legal counsel on the deal was ReedSmith, with KPMG serving as transaction adviser.

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