The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA


May 12, 2014

Johnstown Wire sold: Buyer specializes in distressed companies, turnarounds

JOHNSTOWN — Johnstown Wire Technologies, which employs 260 people, has been acquired by Aterian Investment Partners LLC, a leading private equity firm, according to a press release issued Monday morning.

Mary McCool, spokeswoman for Johnstown Wire Technologies, said no employment or management changes have been announced, and the company will be carrying on “business as usual.”

“It’s not going to have any impact on how we operate or the customers we sell to,” she said.

Headquartered in Johnstown and formed from Bethlehem Steel Corp., the company’s products are sold to a variety of end markets, including transportation, construction, utilities and select consumer durables.

“For more than 100 years, Johnstown Wire has been a leader with unmatched depth and breadth of its product portfolio and excellence in quality and customer service,” Christopher H. Thomas, partner of Aterian, said in the press release. “We look forward to working with management and supporting the company in its growth and strategic initiatives while delivering value to its customers.”

Aterian Investment Partners, which is based out of New York City, specializes in small to middle market buyouts, distressed situations, underperforming companies, organizational turnaround, financial restructuring and corporate merger investments, according to Bloomberg Businessweek.

Metals and mining are just one of the many industries in which the firm invests, which also include manufacturing, industrials, chemicals and commodities, health care services, food and beverage and retail.

The firm seeks maximum debt, equity, loan and hybrid security investments of $50 million in companies that draw in between $25 million and $500 million.

“After making an investment, Aterian, in partnership with management, seeks to focus on the critical growth, operational and liquidity initiatives of a business in an effort to drive value creation for all stakeholders,” the release states.

From the Aterian Investment Partners official website,

“Aterian partners with middle market businesses possessing strong, proven franchises. ... Our approach, which is built on a foundation of integrity, touches every element of our work from our corporate accountability within our portfolio to the communities in which we operate.”

Johnstown Wire Technologies was sold by former owner Ridgemont Equity Partners, which is based out of Charlotte, North Carolina.

Numerous calls for comment made to representatives from Johnstown Wire Technologies, Aterian Investment Partners and Ridgemont Equity Partners were not returned.

Walt Robertson, president of Johnstown Wire, stated in the release, “This transaction is a significant step in the company’s history. Aterian is a firm with a demonstrated track record of expanding product development and capabilities, investing in operations, and growing businesses alongside management. Aterian’s support will allow Johnstown to continue to drive results through execution of its strategic plan and its relentless focus on product excellence and customer service."

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