The Watermill Group Invests in Innovative Plastics Engineering and Manufacturing Firm

The Plastics Group expands Watermill’s portfolio of U.S. manufacturers specializing in custom engineering and production services

LEXINGTON, Mass. — (BUSINESS WIRE) — March 3, 2014The Watermill Group, a strategy-driven private investment firm, today became the new equity partner for The Plastics Group (TPG), a U.S. manufacturer of highly engineered plastic components.

“We see tremendous growth potential for TPG in providing custom design, engineering and manufacturing services in complex plastics,” said Watermill’s managing partner Steven E. Karol. “The company enhances product designs through materials science—for example by applying nanotech compounds to improve barrier protection in fuel containers. TPG has also overcome logistics challenges inherent in shipping large, molded structural panels. This is a company that has shown a lot of ingenuity and resolve in meeting customers’ needs without compromising efficiency, precision or quality.”

TPG specializes in plastic blow-molding, a manufacturing process for making hollow plastic parts. The company has the most blow-molding machines with large-shot capacity (50 to 100 pounds) in North America, making TPG well-suited for producing large plastic structures in high volumes.

“Over the past decade, we’ve significantly expanded manufacturing capacity to meet growing demand from our customers,” said Brian Beth, President and CEO of TPG. “We’re now expanding our design and engineering services so we can evolve into an engineering solutions provider of complex plastics. Watermill’s strategic perspective and deep manufacturing experience makes them the perfect partner for navigating this next phase of our growth.”

Many of TPG’s products are custom-designed and produced. The company’s engineers typically help customers find novel ways to substitute heavier, more costly metal components with adaptable, heavy-duty plastics. TPG’s products range from large, blow-molded items such as bed frames and portable toilets to plastic products with complex chemical properties such as the fuel tanks in lawn tractors and generators. TPG also provides post-production services such as component assembly, testing and packaging.

“TPG has developed differentiated engineering skills and services that set apart its manufacturing and production capabilities,” said Mike Fuller, a principal at Watermill. “We plan to help TPG grow its design engineering expertise and customer support services in logistics and project management. We see these types of customized, value-added services as essential to driving customer preference and growth.”

TPG employs 312 people in two locations: Willowbrook, Ill., near Chicago, and Fremont, Ohio. The company is based in Illinois.

Lenders in the transaction announced today are Cole Taylor Bank and Medley Capital. Goodwin Procter provided legal counsel to Watermill. Lincoln International represented TPG’s current equity sponsors, Chicago Growth Partners and Merit Capital Partners.

About The Watermill Group

The Watermill Group is a strategy-driven private investment firm that revitalizes companies to reach their full potential. For more than three decades, Watermill has been acquiring, operating and improving companies. Watermill looks for businesses in which it can apply a unique combination of strategic insight and management expertise to re-imagine their future and drive growth. Watermill Group’s current portfolio includes C&M Corporation, FutureMark Paper Group, Fine Tubes, MultiLayer Coating Technologies, Tenere and Superior Tube Company.



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for The Watermill Group
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