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Riverlake sells SP Industries

Portland-based private equity group Riverlake Partners has sold SP Industries, Inc, a leading designer and manufacturer of laboratory products and pharmaceutical production equipment, to an affiliate of Graham Partners of Newtown Square, PA.

“During our ownership period, several value-creating initiatives were implemented,” says Erik Krieger, founder and managing partner of Riverlake Partners. “As a result, SP became a great example of our core investment strategy: to acquire smaller market companies and to make strategic, add-on acquisitions and improvements through the hands-on expertise of our partners. We now expect Graham Partners to be a great new private equity sponsor for SP. Together with its existing leadership team, Graham has the resources to take SP to the next level.”

Under the guidance of Riverlake operating partner and SP Industries president and CEO, Chuck Grant, Riverlake increased the size of its SP platform investment through the acquisitions of FTS Systems in October 2006 and Genevac LTD in April 2007.

“Chuck has been the driver of SP’s success through his ability to successfully maintain the company’s profitability while navigating tough global economic times,” says Krieger. “Under his leadership, operating margins increased each year – a true testament to the vision and abilities of Chuck and his team.”

Riverlake led the acquisition of SP Industries in March 2005 with Commerce Bank, MVC Capital and Citizens Capital providing senior and subordinated financing, while GIV Venture Partners provided preferred equity. Early in 2008, SP completed a recapitalization with MVC Capital, Capital Source and Amalgamated Bank providing new senior and subordinated credit facilities.

“We want to thank our financing partners for supporting our efforts throughout our ownership of SP Industries, enabling our investment to provide strong returns to all stakeholders,” adds Krieger.

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