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Mark Andy is acquired by an investment group

October 14, 2008

With new capital infusion, acquisitions top the company’s agenda.

Mark Andy Inc. was acquired on October 8 by newly formed MAI Holdings, held by American Industrial Partners Capital Fund IV (AIP). The seller was Morganthaler Partners, which acquired the company two years ago. Mark Andy Inc. consists of the Mark Andy narrow web press manufacturer in Chesterfield, MO, USA; Comco International, manufacturer of midweb presses based in Milford, OH, USA, and UV curing system maker UVT, also in Milford.

According to Paul Brauss, CEO of Mark Andy, the management and operational structure of the company will not change. Under Morganthaler, the management team had an ownership stake, and Brauss reports that that ownership has increased under AIP to “a very significant stake.” The impact of the transition, he says, will be transparent to the company’s customers and the market.

With the financial backing of the new partner, Mark Andy is planning to make some acquisitions, says Brauss. “We are now positioned very strongly with the capital to move forward with some of the acquisition activity we have been hoping for,” he says. Other goals include expanding customer support and aftermarket sales.

“Growing aftermarket business and new demand in emerging markets such as India, China and Eastern Europe will continue to drive progress,” he adds. Asked about the likelihood of establishing manufacturing plants on other continents, Brauss says that the company has studied every geographic region with that in mind. “The answer is to make the investment and go in to the particular region when you know you have the volume to support that region. The strategy should be to go in to build to support that region, not to export all over the place from there.”

The low US dollar has been helpful to Mark Andy in terms of foreign sales, Brauss notes. “Our exports are really up. The strategies that we announced 18 months ago when we were emphasizing structural improvements in Europe are starting to pay off. We have seen a significant bump in past 18 months, and we will continue to invest heavily in added service technicians and support in Europe.”

Morganthaler Partners, which acquired Mark Andy in September 2006, is also the parent company of RotoMetrics, the die manufacturer based in nearby Eureka, MO.

American Industrial Partners is a private equity firm based in New York City. It was founded in 1989 and has managed three prior investment funds which total over $1 billion of equity capital. AIP is currently investing its fourth fund.