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CenterOak Partners sells SurfacePrep to Nautic Partners 

Dallas-based private equity firm CenterOak Partners has sold SurfacePrep, a global distributor of surface enhancement solutions, to Rhode Island-based middle-market private equity firm Nautic Partners, marking CenterOak’s second exit in 2024 following that of CollisionRight last month. 

SurfacePrep is based in Michigan and offers products including loose and coated abrasives, specialty ceramic materials and related spare parts and equipment. The company serves around 15,000 manufacturing customers within a network of 35 distribution branches and 10 process development labs and production finishing centres. Customers draw from the aerospace, medical, consumer and transportation sectors.

In a statement, Jason Sutherland, a Managing Partner at CenterOak, said: “During CenterOak’s investment, SurfacePrep tripled in size while expanding margins.

“Alongside management, we executed an investment thesis to consolidate firms specialising in the highly technical sale of surface enhancement solutions. Increased scale supported investments that made the company a more valuable partner to its vendors, a stronger resource for its customers and a better home for its employees.”

Mike Currie, CEO of SurfacePrep, added: “Together, we converted 15 local brands to the single unified ‘SurfacePrep’ name operating under the ‘One SurfacePrep’ model, tripled our salesforce and broadened our service and product offerings.”

KeyBanc served as exclusive financial advisor and Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher served as legal counsel to SurfacePrep.

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