Caxton-Iseman to acquire $56m plasma company

A New York-based private equity firm is taking private Hauppauge, New York-based distributor Manchester Technologies in a $56 million deal, with big plans for subsidiary Electrograph.

Private equity firm Caxton-Iseman Capital has purchased Manchester Technologies in a $56 million (€43 million) transaction. Shareholders of the NASDAQ-listed company will receive $6.40 per share.

The private company will be called Electrograph Systems, named after plasma monitor manufacturer and Manchester subsidiary Electrograph. Alan Marc Smith, the former president and chief executive officer of Tarrytown, New York-based networking solutions company Westcon Group, will invest in the transaction and become chief executive officer of Electrograph.

“Electrograph is an ideal platform from which to capitalize on the dramatic growth in the market for plasma and LCD display solutions for professional, commercial and high-end users,” Robert Ferris, a managing director at Caxton-Iseman, said in a statement.

Parent company Manchester is a distributor for the Electrograph line of plasma products for computer and consumer electronics products. The deal is subject to approval from Manchester stockholders and should be completed in the third quarter of this year.

In the fiscal year ending July 2004, Electrograph generated revenues of approximately $150 million. On Tuesday, Manchester’s stock opened at $6.23 and was trading at $6.25 in the afternoon. Following Monday’s announcement, the company’s stock jumped $1.51 to $6.22, from Friday’s close of $4.71. Over the past year, the stock has traded between $2.75 and $12.38.

Sam Taylor, the current president of Electrograph, will remain in that position. He is also investing in the deal.

Caxton-Iseman Capital has invested in information technology company Anteon International, restaurant operator Buffets and vinyl building products manufacturer Ply Gem.