Castle Harlan sells tool maker for $542m

The New York-based firm has sold lawn and garden tool manufacturer Ames True Temper for roughly $160m more than its purchase price in 2004.

Castle Harlan, based in New York, has sold Ames True Temper, a manufacturer and global marketer of lawn and garden tools and accessories, to Griffon Corporation for $542 million. Castle bought the company in 2004 for $380 million from Wind Point Partners, a Chicago-based firm. 

“When we acquired the company the thesis was that we could build the business, grow our market share in the US and build some international exposure, coupled with a broadening of the product lines that we put through our distribution pipeline,” Castle Harlan president Justin Wender told PEO. “That was our five-year plan, and we’re happy with the outcome.” 
 
The firm made the initial investment from its Castle Harlan Partners IV, a $1.1 billion fund that closed in August 2003.

When we acquired the company the thesis was that we could build the business, grow our market share in the US and build some international exposure, coupled with a broadening of the product lines that we put through our distribution pipeline

Justin Wender

In business since 1774, Ames’ clients include national retailers such as The Home Depot, Lowe’s and Wal-Mart, as well as major hardware chains throughout North America. 
 
Castle Harlan, which is currently investing from its fifth fund, last month completed a $160 million acquisition of IDQ Holdings, a manufacturer of branded automotive air conditioning products. IDQ products include brand names such as Sub Zero and Super Seal Stop Leak, which are sold in national chains AutoZone, Peb Boys and Wal-Mart, among others.

Founded in 1987, Castle Harlan invests in controlling interests in the buyout and development of middle-market companies in North America and Europe. The firm has completed 51 acquisitions since its inception, with a total value of $9.6 billion, and currently manages investment funds with equity commitments of $2.5 billion. The firm has a broad range of investment areas, focusing on industrial and transportation, energy and chemicals and consumer and restaurants. 

Griffon is a diversified management and holding company based in New York. Its businesses include Telephonics Corp., which produces information, communication and sensor systems; Clopay Building Products Co., maker of commercial and residential garage doors; and Clopay Plastic Products Co., producer of specialty plastic films for hygienic, healthcare and industrial applications.