Audax sees US-Euro vacuum success

Following a transatlantic merger in 2002, Boston’s Audax Group has agreed to sell its vacuum pump platform Nash Elmo to publicly traded Gardner Denver for $223.5m.

In a prime example of the US middle-market going global, Boston private investment firm Audax Group has agreed to exit its industrial vacuum pump platform Nash Elmo for a total of $223.5 million (€185 million) to industrial group Gardner Denver.

Audax Group acquired its majority stake in Nash Elmo through a 2002 combination of Trumbull, Connecticut-based Nash Engineering and Nuremberg, Germany-based Elmo Vacuum Technology, then a subsidiary of Siemens. Terms of that deal were not disclosed, but both companies were reported to have annual revenue of $100 million.

nash-elmo’s revenues for 2003 was $212 million, with earnings of $7.8 million.

The company has manufacturing bases in Germany, China and Brazil.

Ross Centanni, the chairman, president and chief executive officer of publicly traded Gardner Denver, said in a statement that the agreed acquisition “continues the global diversification of our revenue base. More than two-thirds of Nash Elmo sales are to customers outside the United States.”

Audax Group, founded in 1999 by two former Bain Capital partners, Geoff Rehnert and Marc Wolpow, operates private equity, venture capital and mezzanine debt funds. The firm's $500 million Audax Private Equity Fund closed in early 2000, and invests in middle-market and growth-stage companies in industries including healthcare, media and technology.