6 January 2012

AIP sells MFC maker Brooks Instrument

New York-based American Industrial Partners (a middle-market private equity group focused on acquiring and improving North American-based industrial businesses) has sold Brooks Instrument of Hatfield, PA, USA, a provider of low-flow and pressure/vacuum analytical instruments to end markets including industrial, chemical, life science, oil/gas, microelectronics, LED, and alternative energy. AIP acquired Brooks from Emerson Electric Co in December 2007.

Brooks has about 800 staff over a global footprint, including 18 locations in 13 countries. Its products are used to regulate the flow rates of gases and liquids in laboratory and process environments, and include thermal mass flow controllers (used in MOCVD systems), variable area meters, coriolis and ultrasonic flow meters, and capacitance diaphragm gauges. These products are frequently mission critical and are often configured to address the specific technical requirements of end-use applications. Brooks serves over 9000 customers in 75 countries, with an installed base of over 1.5 million instruments.

“Our team is primarily comprised of engineers and operators who support management in achieving the growth objectives for their business,” says AIP partner Eric Baroyan. “By acquiring and commercializing intellectual property, supporting new product development, developing efficient manufacturing processes, optimizing procurement, and consolidating a global manufacturing footprint, Brooks more than doubled revenue and tripled EBITDA during our investment period,” he notes.

“Brooks has long been a highly respected brand with a loyal global customer base,” says Brooks’ CEO Clark Hale. “However, it was the support and commitment of the entire American Industrial Partners team that enabled us to achieve the step change in product offerings, operating efficiency, and financial performance over the last few years,” he adds. “We greatly value American Industrial Partners' contribution to the success of our company and look forward to continued growth under new ownership.

Previously, on 30 December, AIP also sold Ichor Systemsof Tualatin, OR, USA (a designer and manufacturer of process tools, gas delivery modules and chemical delivery modules purchased by original equipment equipment manufacturers) to San Francisco-based Francisco Partners, a global private equity firm focused on investments in technology and technology-enabled services businesses. With about $7bn of capital raised to date, Francisco Partners pursues structured investments in technology companies, targeting investments in private companies, public companies and divisions of public companies (with transaction values ranging from $25m to over $1bn).

“We see a real opportunity for Ichor Systems to build upon its operational strengths, global workforce and deep industry relationships to drive growth,” says Andrew Kowal, a partner at Francisco Partners and head of its semiconductor and hardware investment activities. “Francisco Partners brings significant experience from more than a decade of investments in the semiconductor and related industries, and we will work closely with Ichor Systems’ management team to capitalize on these opportunities,” he adds.

“The investment in Ichor Systems represents the latest in a series of semiconductor investments we have made over the years and reflects our continued commitment to investing in the semiconductor and capital equipment industries,” says Francisco Partners’ managing partner Dipanjan Deb. “We plan to build upon Ichor Systems’ successes and will provide the resources needed to expand the company’s market leadership.”

Since its inception in 1999, Ichor Systems has established strong relationships with the world’s leading capital equipment manufacturers, collaborating on system design and serving as an outsourced manufacturer for complex subsystems. “In Francisco Partners, we have found the truly unique partner who brings historical investment experience in our specific market, a rich network, and strong expertise in the semiconductor, LED, and technology markets broadly,” says Ichor’s CEO David Shimmon. “We look forward to leveraging Francisco Partners’ insights and capabilities as we support and grow with our customers.”

See related items:

American Industrial Partners sells Ichor systems

Tags: Mass flow controllers

Visit: www.brooksinstrument.com

Visit: www.aipartners.com

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