Wind Point Partners, a Chicago, IL-based private equity firm, has acquired a controlling interest in U.S. Nonwovens, Inc. Based in Brentwood, NY, USN is one of North America’s largest manufacturers of personal care, over-the-counter, cosmetic, laundry, and household cleaning products. USN supplies a broad portfolio of products for personal and home care applications, including disinfectant, cosmetic and personal cleansing wipes, as well as laundry detergent, bleach and fabric softeners.
The company operates with nearly 1,200 employees out of 13 North American locations, including eight manufacturing sites and five self-managed warehouses.
USN executives and co-founders Shervin Mehdizadeh, Rody Mehdizadeh and Sam Mehdizadeh are retaining significant equity in the company and will remain involved through a board seat, as well as advisory roles. The Mehdizadehs will continue to leverage their experience with M&A in assisting with the development and execution of USN’s acquisition strategy, which will focus on acquiring companies that provide complementary products, manufacturing capabilities and brands.
Wind Point has partnered with Matthew Stillings as CEO and Chris Sliva as board chair. Stillings was most recently president and group executive leading the $820 million Water Management Division at Rexnord. Prior to Rexnord, he was a senior executive at IDEX Corporation, where he most recently led the $650 million Pumps & Valves division. Sliva was most recently CEO and president of AdvancePierre Foods, a $1.6 billion business formerly owned by Oak Tree Capital. His prior roles include President and COO at Treehouse Foods, a $5 billion publicly traded private label food manufacturer, and President and CCO / COO of Dean Foods.
“USN represents an ideal fit for Wind Point. Shervin, Rody and their family have built a terrific business with strong annual growth achieved through smarts, innovation and hard work," David Stott, managing director at Wind Point, comments. "We look forward to working with them to build on their impressive track record. We are also excited to partner with Matt, Chris and the entire USN team as they lead the Company into a new phase of growth. We have a dynamic value creation plan that includes delivering on commitments to customers, investing in innovation and additional operational resources, and completing acquisitions to enhance the Company’s portfolio of products.”
Wind Point’s investment in USN represents yet another partnership for the firm with an entrepreneur-owned business, a focus area of Wind Point’s investment strategy for decades. Wind Point will seek to further grow USN both organically and through add-on acquisitions, leveraging the firm’s experience in the consumer products industry. Select current and prior Wind Point investments in consumer products include Voyant Beauty, Hearthside Food Solutions, Shearer’s Snacks, Gehl Foods, and Petmate.
“We are thrilled to have Wind Point as our majority partner for several reasons," says Shervin Mehdizadeh, co-founder and director of USN. "Key among them is the integrity of their leadership, along with their extensive experience in the consumer products space and a strong reputation of partnership and collaboration with the management teams they back. We are very excited to work with Wind Point to grow USN, and we see significant opportunities ahead for our company, terrific customers, and our hardworking and loyal employees.”
USN’s acquisition strategy will focus on acquiring companies that provide complementary products within OTC, personal care and household products, both for private label and branded customers, as well as the acquisition of complementary brands.
Certain divisions, brands and plants, including the Old Williamsburgh candle business, FreshenUp™, Drixoral™, Tegrin™, Skeeter Beeter™, will be retained separately by the prior owners of USN and operated under a transition services agreement for a brief period.