Audax Buys S.J. Electro

Audax Private Equity has acquired S.J. Electro Systems (SJE), a manufacturer of controls used in the water and wastewater industry.

S.J. Electro’s products – sold under the CSI Controls, Primex, and SJE Rhombus brands – include standard and custom control panels, septic tank alarms, float switches and other accessories used in residential, commercial, and municipal water and wastewater applications. SJE produces more than 70,000 control panels per year, from $200 panels to multi-million dollar projects.

SJE was founded in 1975 by Steve Johnston in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota and today, led by CEO Dave Thomas, has 7 locations in Minnesota (3), Ohio, California, Florida, and China. The company has been employee-owned through an ESOP since 1998.

“As demand for our products continues to grow, we believe that now is the right time to bring on a partner that can provide strategic capital as well as operational and financial expertise,” said Mr. Thomas. “Partnering with Audax, a firm with a well-respected and successful track record of helping middle-market companies drive value, represents a significant opportunity for the future of our company and its stakeholders, most notably our customers and employees.”

“SJE is a leader in the water and wastewater space, consistently integrating differentiated engineering and manufacturing capabilities to produce reliable solutions for their global customer base,” said Jay Mitchell, a managing director at Audax Private Equity. “We believe that positive industry tailwinds coupled with the current fragmentation of the wastewater control solutions manufacturing market strategically positions SJE to continue to scale through both organic and inorganic growth opportunities. We look forward to working closely with Dave and the entire team as SJE enters its next phase of growth.”

Audax invests in middle-market companies that have from $8 million to $50 million in EBITDA and enterprise values of $50 million to $400 million. Sectors of interest include business and consumer services; energy; healthcare; technology, media and telecom; and industrials including chemicals, infrastructure, and building materials. Audax, with offices in Boston, New York, and San Francisco, is currently investing out of its $3.5 billion, sixth private equity fund.

Chartwell Financial was the financial advisor to SJE and Raymond James was the financial advisor to Audax.

© 2021 Private Equity Professional | June 29, 2021