Cyclonaire frames investors’ material handling business platform

Sources: Prospect Partners, Chicago; CP staff

Prospect Partners, a private equity firm investing in smaller lower-middle-market companies, and Schilling Ventures, LLC, an operations-focused investor, have recapitalized Cyclonaire Corp. in partnership with management of the York, Neb., pneumatic conveying systems specialist.

“With a stellar reputation, superb management team, specialized technology, and significant continued growth potential, Cyclonaire stands out as a market leader in the fragmented pneumatic conveying industry,” says Prospect Partners Principal Maneesh Chawla. “We look forward to supporting management in building a larger company in the broader material handling space, and to partnering with Schilling Ventures, a skilled operator with a focus on lean manufacturing initiatives.”

“Prospect Partners and Schilling Ventures felt like the right fit from the start. They fully embrace our emphasis on top-quality equipment, design integrity, and exceptional customer service,” notes Cyclonaire President Jerry Elfring, who has been with the company almost since its 1973 founding and will remain head of its veteran management team.

Cyclonaire is the seventh platform company in Prospect Partners’ $200 million third fund and third investment for Naperville, Ill.-based Schilling Ventures, which targets manufacturing businesses to which Lean Enterprise methods can be applied. A veteran of private equity transactions and industrial company leadership, Schilling Managing Partner Paul Golden will work with Prospect “in helping Cyclonaire execute its business plan to great success.” The investors see select add-on acquisitions of other pneumatic conveying and material handling companies, plus manufacturing automation and controls businesses.

Well represented in cement terminals and concrete plants, Cyclonaire manufactures pneumatic conveying systems for dry bulk materials. Its experience spans railcar unloading, locomotive track sanding, dust collection, automation, batching and blending, and aeration systems.