Houlihan Lokey Advises BlackHawk Industrial Distribution

Houlihan Lokey is pleased to announce that BlackHawk Industrial Distribution, Inc., a portfolio company of Brazos Equity Partners, has been acquired by Snow Phipps Group, LLC. The transaction closed on September 17, 2018. 

BlackHawk is a leading distributor of metalworking and industrial MRO products, serving more than 6,000 customers across the U.S. and Mexico. The company has grown rapidly and become one of the category leaders in cutting tools and abrasives in the U.S., with its technical expertise, superior service capabilities, and "Big Enough to Serve, Small Enough to Care" positioning with customers. BlackHawk is headquartered in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, and operates facilities in the U.S. and Mexico.

Brazos Private Equity Partners is a Dallas-based private equity firm that has managed investment funds through three vehicles, with approximately $1.4 billion of equity capital since inception.

CenterOak Partners LLC was founded by former partners of Brazos Private Equity Partners and closed its inaugural fund, CenterOak Equity Fund I, L.P., at its hard cap of $420 million in July 2016. CenterOak is focused on making control-oriented investments in middle-market companies organized or operating in the U.S. The firm specializes in three key industry sectors: industrial growth, consumer, and business services. Based in Dallas, Texas, the investment and portfolio management team has a strong historical track record of creating significant value through operational improvement. CenterOak's senior leaders have completed over 100 acquisitions representing more than $3.3 billion in transaction value across current and predecessor funds.

Snow Phipps is a private equity firm focused on lower-middle-market control investments with $2.4 billion of total capital commitments raised since its founding in 2005. The firm generally focuses on companies in attractive subsectors across the industrials, business services, and consumer industries and targets platform investments with enterprise values ranging from $100 million to $500 million. Other current industrial-related investments include Kele, Ideal-Tridon, and Brook & Whittle. The Snow Phipps investment team collaborates with its operating partners and portfolio management teams to create value through an operationally focused strategy often led by organic or acquisition-driven growth.

Houlihan Lokey served as financial advisor to BlackHawk and assisted in initiating, structuring, and negotiating the transaction on its behalf.

Houlihan Lokey's Specialty Distribution team has earned a reputation for working with premier specialty distribution clients, providing superior client service, and delivering outstanding results. This transaction highlights our deep sector expertise; affirms our continued success advising within the industrial MRO products supply chain; and demonstrates our ability to help maximize value for our clients through thoughtful positioning and a tailored M&A sale process.


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