U.K. private equity firm buys Wichita’s Wescon Products, Wescon Plastics

10/01/2012 6:14 PM

10/01/2012 6:16 PM

A British private equity firm announced Monday that it has purchased Wescon Products and Wescon Plastics, both of Wichita, and expects to grow the companies.

Wescon Products makes mechanical controls, cable assemblies and screw machined components primarily for the lawn and garden sector. Wescon Plastics makes injection molded plastic parts for industrial uses in the battery and heavy duty truck industries.

Nova Capital Management of London bought the two companies. It also acquired MC Electronics of Hollister, Calif.; Coast Wire & Plastic Tec of Carson, Calif.; and Anderson & Forrester of Wheat Ridge, Colo., which were all part of Latshaw Enterprises of Wichita.

The five companies have annual sales of about $90 million and employ 450 people.

Jan Kreminski, Tom Leader and Mike Nevin of Nova Capital will join the boards of each company to work with their executive management teams. The purchase price was not disclosed.

Kreminski on Monday said there will be no changes in operations or workforces in Wichita.

The Latsahw businesses are all solid, profitable businesses, he said, but they aren’t growing.

“We are all about bringing our experience and new ways of thinking about the business, whether it’s organic or inorganic growth,” he said. “That could mean looking at capital investment – although that doesn’t seem to be a big issue, the companies have been invested in over the years – expanding internationally, expanding in some markets they are not currently in or perhaps some customers they haven’t reached, adding some bolt-on acquisitions to create an accelerated way to get to new markets or new technology, so that one plus one equals three.”

The company looks to build up the companies and to someday sell them at a profit.

“We are very excited about the acquisition,” Kreminski said. “Every one of the five companies has a solid market position. We will partner with the management to grow them. Everyone is excited to start the next chapter. They haven’t really focused on growth in a long time.”

Nova Capital was established in 2002, and currently manages investments in about 25 businesses primarily operating in Western Europe and North America across a broad range of sectors.

Caledonia Investments, an investment trust publicly traded on the London Stock Exchange, also has an investment stake.

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