Daily News: January 27, 2012

Industrial Growth Partners Completes Sale of O’Brien


Industrial Growth Partners announced the completion of the sale of O’Brien Corporation to AMETEK, Inc. for approximately $175 million in a transaction that closed on January 13, 2012.

O’Brien, headquartered in St. Louis, MO, is a designer and manufacturer of fluid and gas handling solutions used in critical test, measurement and flow applications in process industries worldwide. The company’s comprehensive offering includes sample-extraction probes, pre-insulated and heat-traced tubing bundles, pH and dissolved oxygen analyzers, specialty ultra-high purity tubing and fittings, instrument enclosures and supports, and sample conditioning equipment. With its deep engineering and design expertise, O’Brien supplies both standard and custom-designed solutions to applications across some of the world’s largest end segments, including the oil and gas production, refining, petrochemical, power generation, pharmaceutical and semiconductor markets.

IGP, together with the company’s existing shareholder, members of the management team and certain outside investors, purchased a controlling interest in the company on January 30, 2009. The transaction created a solid platform for O’Brien to accelerate its domestic and international growth, enter new end markets and pursue selective acquisition opportunities. During IGP’s ownership, the company expanded its international sales presence, established a local manufacturing facility in China, and expanded its product offering into the upstream oil and gas market. In addition, O’Brien completed the add-on acquisition of Universal Analyzers, Inc., a manufacturer of gas sample conditioning equipment including dilution and extraction gas probes, process sample probes, gas chillers and complete sample systems.

Dave Smith, president of O’Brien, commented: “IGP’s support of our company as it transitioned from a family-owned business to an institutionally-backed enterprise was crucial. They were an ideal partner as we went through the process of expanding aggressively overseas, particularly in China, and also in supporting new product development to enter the offshore oil and gas market. IGP was also instrumental in the strategic add-on acquisition of Universal Analyzers, which provided key new products to enable O’Brien to become the only manufacturer in the market capable of offering a total solution for sample collection, transport and conditioning. Ultimately, these initiatives enabled us to more than double revenue from 2009 to 2011.”

IGP, founded in 1997, is a San Francisco-based private equity investment firm that invests exclusively in middle-market companies in the manufacturing sector in partnership with management.

AMETEK is a global manufacturer of electronic instruments and electro-mechanical devices.