LFM CAPITAL ACQUIRES ERGONOMIC TOOLING MANUFACTURER ECKHART & ASSOCIATES

NASHVILLE, TN – June 17, 2015 – LFM Capital (“LFM”), a private equity firm focused on growth-oriented, lower middle market manufacturing and industrial services businesses, announced today that it completed its acquisition of Eckhart & Associates, Inc. (“Eckhart”), a market leader in the design and manufacturing of specialized ergonomic tools and solutions to automotive and industrial manufacturers.   Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Founded in 1974 and headquartered in Lansing, Michigan, Eckhart is an established market leader in ergonomic tooling and equipment, including a range of custom-engineered lift assists, torque reaction devices, fixtures, inspection equipment and workstations that improve workplace safety, increase manufacturing productivity and enhance product quality. The company serves a stable and loyal, blue-chip customer base of leading automotive and industrial original equipment manufacturers (“OEMs”) that include GM, Ford, Tesla, Chrysler, John Deere, Bradford White and Caterpillar.  Approximately 40% of the company’s employee base consists of full-time, skilled designers and engineers, complemented by a highly-experienced manufacturing team, who operate in three company-owned facilities located in Lansing, MI. 

Eckhart President Rick Girth commented "We are proud of what this company has achieved over its 40-year history. Eckhart has grown from a small manufacturer of specialty hand tools and sub-assembly fixtures delivered to a single automotive customer to a leading designer and manufacturer of highly-engineered ergonomic tools and solutions serving numerous Fortune 500 automotive and industrial customers.  My partner Bob Breard and I were looking for a strong business partner able to help take Eckhart to the next level. We chose to partner with LFM because of the team’s direct knowledge and experience in our business, its operational focus on continuous process improvement best practices, and its unique access to the managerial talent needed to grow and expand our business.  Importantly, the LFM team represents collaborative partners who speak our language and share our values in building a strong future for the company."

LFM Capital Executive Managing Director Steve Cook said “We are excited to partner with the Eckhart team to unlock what we see as significant growth potential for the company.  The Eckhart acquisition fits squarely into LFM’s investment strategy.  Eckhart is an established market leader of highly-engineered products with a world-class customer base in an industry that is experiencing strong and growing demand and multiple end-market expansion opportunities.  Industrial manufacturing companies are increasingly focused on enhanced ergonomics, production and quality as a means of improving operations and controlling costs.

"We also saw in Eckhart a great fit for LFM’s value creation capabilities.  Our team’s direct knowledge of and experience in implementing ergonomic improvement equipment across multiple industries in the plants that we have managed will allow Eckhart to deepen its relationships with existing customers as well as grow and expand its customer base.  Already, we have identified several new and attractive end-market opportunities that include agricultural/construction equipment, aerospace and power sports manufacturing where LFM’s professional networks offer unique access to drive new customer growth.  Finally, we see opportunities to strengthen team leadership and foster a culture focused on continuous process improvement and disciplines that will efficiently and effectively support the growth opportunities ahead.

"We believe that this is a great time to bet on U.S. manufacturing as it continues to experience an on-shore renaissance. Eckhart is right at the heart of what is happening to increase production, improve workplace safety and control manufacturing costs in order to build successful and profitable U.S. manufacturing leaders," Mr. Cook concluded. 

About Eckhart & Associates
Founded in 1974 and based in Lansing, Michigan, Eckhart & Associates (“Eckhart”) is an established market leader in the design and manufacturing of specialized ergonomic tools and solutions to automotive and industrial manufacturers.  Eckhart offers a range of custom-engineered lift assists, torque reaction devices, fixtures, inspection equipment and workstations that improve workplace safety, increase manufacturing productivity and enhance product quality. The company serves an established and loyal, blue-chip customer base of leading automotive and industrial original equipment manufacturers (“OEMs”), including GM, Ford, Tesla, Chrysler, John Deere, Bradford White and Caterpillar. Approximately 40% of the company’s employee base consists of full-time skilled designers and engineers, complemented by a highly-experienced manufacturing team, who operate in three company-owned facilities located in Lansing, MI.  For additional information, please visit www.eckhartusa.com

About LFM Capital
Founded in 2014 and headquartered in Nashville, TN, LFM Capital, LLC (“LFM”) is a private equity firm focused on private lower middle-market U.S. manufacturing and industrial services companies with outstanding growth prospects.  LFM currently manages a $110 million private equity fund that targets lead or control investments in market-leading niche manufacturing and industrial services companies with enterprise values in the range of $15 to $75 million.  LFM was founded by a team of experienced and successful Fortune 50 global executive managers and private equity professionals who bring decades of management leadership, operating best practices, exceptional professional recruiting networks and a successful track record in lower middle-market investing.  LFM partners with management teams to drive business value through a combination of manufacturing and operations excellence, world-class executive management and targeted growth and expansion strategies.  For additional information, please visit www.lfmcapital.com


For further information, please contact:

Rick Reisner, Managing Director
LFM Capital, LLC
rick@lfmcapital.com
(615) 209-9413 

Rick Girth, President                    
Eckhart & Associates
rgirth@eckhartusa.com
(517) 321-7700            

# # #