News

A local private equity firm acquired a Chicago-area manufacturer of corrugated steel rule dies.

Grand Rapids-based Auxo Investment Partners said it acquired Elmhurst, Illinois-based GC Dies.

"We're excited to bring GC Dies into our expanding platform and see great potential to expand its customer footprint," said Jeff Helminski, a managing partner with Auxo. "We believe that adding a corrugate offering further bolsters our efforts to help shape the products that touch the lives of people - everything from heart valves and ventilator tubes to cereal boxes, gaskets and surgical masks."

Auxo Managing Partner Jack Kolodny added the acquisition fits nicely into the growing Auxo Die Holdings platform.

"When we considered the full impact of this acquisition, it was obvious that adding GC Dies would make us even more competitive in the Midwest marketplace and enhance our overall platform, which was already the broadest selection of tooling for the converting industry," Kolodny said.

Private investment firm Auxo Investment Partners announced today that it has acquired GC Dies, a steel rule die manufacturer based in Elmhurst, Ill., a suburb of Chicago. The deal marks Auxo’s ninth acquisition in the firm’s inaugural investment fund, Auxo Growth Holdings I LLC, which closed in the fall of 2018. It is Auxo’s fifth acquisition under the Auxo Die Holdings platform, a growing portfolio of industry-leading cutting die manufacturers the investment firm has acquired in recent years.

Founded in 2000, GC Dies is one of the leading steel rule cutting die manufacturers in the country. The company, which has 50 employees and operates from a 37,500-square foot facility, focuses on flat corrugated, rotary corrugated and flat steel rule die production.

The purchase of GC Dies follows Auxo’s previous acquisitions of cutting die manufacturers Atlas Die, AtlasFlex, Bernal Rotary Dies, Midway Rotary Die Solutions, and DieCraft Engineering & Manufacturing – and further expands a fully integrated family of converting solution companies, each offering a wide selection of purpose-built dies, tools, systems and technical converting expertise

The purchase of GC Dies follows Auxo’s previous acquisitions of cutting die manufacturers Atlas Die, AtlasFlex, Bernal Rotary Dies, Midway Rotary Die Solutions, and DieCraft Engineering & Manufacturing – and further expands a fully integrated family of converting solution companies, each offering a wide selection of purpose-built dies, tools, systems and technical converting expertise.

"We are bringing the industry’s leading converting solution companies together to create the most comprehensive service offering available in the industry, and the addition of GC Dies is an important step in the process," says Jerry Mosingo, chief executive officer of the Auxo Die Holdings platform. "As we continue to expand – and service many of the world’s leading converting companies – we know our fully integrated solutions can meet virtually any challenge."

In addition to aligning with increasing customer demand for a single-source, full-service partner, the acquisition presents an opportunity to modernize Auxo Die Holding’s equipment and manufacturing facilities in Chicago for the expanding platform. Company leaders plan to move Atlas Die’s Chicago operations to Elmhurst, where GC Dies has capacity for continued growth.

Grand Rapids-based private equity firm Auxo Investment Partners continued its investment in cutting die manufacturers with a recent acquisition.

The firm announced this week that it has acquired GC Dies, a steel rule die cutting manufacturer with a 37,500-square-foot facility in the Chicago area. The Elmhurst, Ill.-based manufacturer, which has 50 employees on staff, specializes in flat corrugated, rotary corrugated and flat steel rule die production.

Steel dies and tooling from GC Dies are routinely used for products including corrugated boxes, folding cartons, trading cards, greeting cards, automotive parts, medical parts and gaskets.

The deal was the ninth for Auxo Growth Holdings I LLC, the firm’s first investment fund that closed in fall 2018. It’s also Auxo’s fifth acquisition under the Auxo Die Holdings platform, a portfolio of cutting die manufacturers that Auxo has acquired over time.

Auxo Investment Partners acquired GC Dies, an Elmhurst, Ill.-based steel rule die manufacturer. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.

Jeff Helminski’s private equity firm has an internal goal of sourcing 20 qualified deals each week.

While those efforts slowed significantly during May, June and July as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Helminski — managing partner at Auxo Investment Partners — said his team is now at around 98 percent of that goal year-to-date, highlighting the recent surge in deal flow across a variety of industries that’s being seen nationally.

When looking at companies that are selling right now, Helminski lumps them into four categories.

The first is owners trying to exit manufacturing companies before the long-term effects of COVID become permanent within the business, dragging down the company’s appeal and value. Another segment of sellers are manufacturers that have seen a bump in sales because of COVID and are trying to capitalize on that short-term surge.A third group of sellers is looking to close on a deal before the end of the year out of concern of changes to the tax code under a potential Biden administration. The fourth category is simply the natural, ambient level of deals, including those that involve owners reaching retirement age. The fourth category of deals moved through the pandemic mostly unhindered, Helminski said.