Nautic Partners, LLC (“Nautic”), a private equity firm with more than $1.8 billion of capital under management, today announced the purchase of a controlling interest in Curtis Industries Holdings, LLC (“Curtis”) from longtime Chairman and CEO Fred Curtis Jr., who will remain a significant shareholder and continue to run the business as Chief Executive Officer.
Headquartered in Worcester, MA, Curtis is the leading manufacturer of cabs and enclosures for utility vehicles (“UTVs”), compact tractors, and golf carts. The Company also manufactures a branded line of snowplows, spreaders, and related equipment for the snow and ice control market. Merrill Lynch Capital provided senior debt financing for the transaction.
Originally founded in 1969 by Fred Curtis Sr., the Company has been a leader for more than 35 years in the design and manufacture of cabs and accessories for non-automotive vehicles. The demand for Curtis branded cabs on UTVs has grown rapidly in recent years as a result of the increasing popularity of UTVs for use in agriculture, landscaping, construction, hunting, farm/ranch, and commercial/industrial settings. Curtis holds multiple U.S. and foreign patents pending related to its cab designs including a parallel opening door system which stores the doors in an open position, eliminating the need to remove the doors in warm weather.
Curtis also holds several industry leading patents related to its snowplow and spreader business. The Company’s patented “Hitch and Run” system dramatically simplifies the process of hitching plows to vehicles and laid the groundwork for the Company’s full-scale entrance into the snowplow market. Curtis has been in the snow and ice control market since 1980.
“Nautic’s investment in Curtis ensures that the Company will have the resources and support necessary to pursue the many opportunities at hand. We look forward to continuing to grow with our existing customers as well as expand into new markets with new customers. Our customers can continue to expect the kind of quality and service from Curtis that has been central to our reputation for a long time,” said Fred Curtis Jr.
The acquisition of Curtis is Nautic Partners’ second platform investment in 2006: in February Nautic announced the acquisition of Oasis Outsourcing, LLC, one of the largest professional employer organizations in the U.S.
About Curtis Industries Holdings, LLC
Curtis is the leading manufacturer of cabs and enclosures for the utility vehicle (“UTV”), compact tractor, and golf cart industries, as well as a manufacturer of snowplows, spreaders, and related equipment for the snow and ice control market. Headquartered in Worcester, Massachusetts, Curtis has a 35 year history of developing and providing innovative products for its customers, and is the leading brand in the cab and enclosure industry. For more information about Curtis visit www.curtisindustries.net.