Seattle-based SafeWorks LLC last week announced it has been acquired by Wynnchurch Capital Partners, a Chicago-based, middle market private equity firm specializing in management buyouts, recapitalizations, corporate spin-offs, restructurings and growth capital investments. GE Capital and Merrill Lynch arranged senior debt financing, while Audax Mezzanine provided subordinated debt financing for the transaction. SafeWorks will be the second platform acquisition for Wynnchurch Capital Partners II, L.P.
“This is an excellent opportunity for the shareholders and employees of SafeWorks,” said Mark Robison, SafeWorks principal. “Wynnchurch has a great history of adding next level value to their companies.”
The Safeworks acquisition is expected to have a positive impact on its Spider division, the company said.
“Spider is continually growing its business, and it is expected that Wynnchurch's acquisition of SafeWorks will only accelerate that growth,” John Sotiroff, vice president of Spider sales and distribution, told RER. “Wynnchurch's drive for growth and capacity for capital investments tie into Spider's existing growth strategies, enabling us to accelerate into new geographies, new markets, new business segments, etc. This recent acquisition will have a very positive effect on Spider's future business endeavors.”
With the sale of SafeWorks, CEO Dave Voeller elected to transition to the role of senior advisor. “I am very proud of the accomplishments and significant value we have created at SafeWorks over the last few years, and believe the sale and transition of leadership will benefit customers, employees, and the new shareholders,” Voeller said. “I look forward to finding other companies like SafeWorks where I can help improve performance.”
Scott Farrell, SafeWorks’ current chief operating officer, assumed the role of president and CEO. Liz Callahan, a nine-year SafeWorks veteran, was promoted to vice president of marketing. In this expanded role, she will be responsible for driving global marketing strategy for SafeWorks’ two suspended access brands, Spider and Power Climber.
Spider, a Tukwila, Wash.-based division of Safeworks, is No. 66 on the RER 100.