Daily News: February 7, 2014

High Road Capital Acquires General Tools & Instruments

High Road Capital Partners announced it completed the acquisition of New York-based General Tools & Instruments, marking High Road Capital Partners Fund II’s third platform acquisition.

U.S. Bank provided senior debt financing for the transaction. Babson Capital Management provided subordinated debt and also invested equity alongside High Road. Cowen and Company advised the seller. Transaction consideration was not disclosed.

General Tools & Instruments’ products are available in big-box and specialty retailers including Home Depot, Lowe’s, Sears, Ace Hardware and True Value Hardware stores, and through industrial distributors such as Grainger, MSC Industrial Supply and McMaster-Carr.

“General Tools & Instruments has a solid position as a leading provider of specialty hand tools and instruments across multiple industries, with a product portfolio of more than 1,500 SKUs,” said Jeff Goodrich, High Road partner. “Its strengths include an exceptional product development capability through which the company introduces new and innovative tools annually and provides professional-grade products to consumer markets. General Tools & Instruments is a third-generation, family-run company with an enviable customer base, a trusted brand name and high-quality products. Together with General’s outstanding management team, we plan to pursue both organic growth initiatives and add-on acquisitions.”

Joe Ennis, CEO of General Tools & Instruments, said, “General remains focused on providing its customers with feature-rich, value-oriented specialty hand tools and test instruments. We look forward to working with High Road and continuing the company’s successful expansion.”

Ennis will continue to lead the company post-closing. He and the other members of General’s management team invested in the transaction alongside High Road.

High Road has completed 29 transactions, comprising 27 acquisitions – 12 platform investments, 15 add-on acquisitions – and two exits since its founding in 2007.

High Road’s acquisition of General Tools & Instruments closed on February 5, 2014. Jeff Goodrich, partner and Dan Gaspar, principal, led the transaction for High Road. Also working on the transaction from High Road were Jerry Anderson, partner, and Eugene Kolodin, associate.

General Tools & Instruments, founded in 1922, is a designer and developer of precision specialty hand tools and handheld test instruments.