Sorenson, Peterson acquire furniture supplier for $71.5m

The two Salt Lake City firms completed the acquisition of MITY Enterprises, an industrial furniture supplier.

Two Salt Lake City, Utah-based private equity firms, Sorenson Capital and Peterson Partners, have completed the acquisition of institutional furniture supplier MITY Enterprises. The deal is valued at approximately $71.5 million (€52 million), based on the firms’ agreement to pay holders of MITY common stock $21.50 per share. The deal also includes the assumption of $3 million of existing debt and $1 million of anticipated future debt.

Fraser Bullock, a co-founder and managing director at Sorenson, said that his firm was attracted to MITY because of its strength as a brand name.

“MITY has a very powerful brand name in the hospitality industry for tables and chairs,” Bullock said, “and we saw the opportunity to be able to continue to grow the business under that excellent brand.”

Sorenson sees opportunities for both growth and efficiency improvement, Bullock said. MITY’s operations can be streamlined by updating its equipment and eliminating bottlenecks from its manufacturing processes, which will allow the company to expand production to meet market demand.

Sorenson Capital focuses on small- to mid-sized companies in the western US. The firm closed its debut fund on $250 million in May 2004. Its founders include Ron Mika, a former Bain Capital managing director, Bullock, the chief operating officer of the 2002 Salt Lake Winter Olympics, and Steve Young, former quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers football team.

Peterson Partners held a final close on its first, third-party fund on $105 million just days after Sorenson in May 2004. Peterson focuses on high growth cities in the Intermountain West, providing venture capital and private equity for firms with more than $10 million in revenues that are “simple, but with strong, defensible market positions” according to its website. The firm was an early investor in discount airline success JetBlue.