New Owner for Chelsea Building Products

July 25, 2011

Graham Partners, a private investment firm, has acquired Chelsea Building Products from the Tessenderlo Group. Chelsea, based in Oakmont, Pa., designs and extrudes of vinyl window and door profiles. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Based in Newtown Square, Pa., Graham Partners manages approximately $1.5 billion in investments, focusing on middle-market companies. The firm's strategy is to buy industrial and manufacturing companies that are benefiting from product or technology substitution trends or raw material conversions where it can take advantage of its operating resources to add value, officials state. Its portfolio companies in the building products arena include the Graham Group, which includes Graham Architectural Products, the York, Pa.-based manufacturer of aluminum and fiberglass windows for commercial and institutional buildings. Graham Partners also owns Exteria Building Products, a manufacturer of molded polypropylene siding, and HB&G Building Products, a manufacturer of synthetic and wood millwork, including columns, porch and deck components.

"The building products industry represents an important sector for Graham Partners," says Rob Newbold, managing principal. "Chelsea Building Products Inc. is well positioned to take advantage of future growth by providing quality products and a well-known brand. They have an experienced management team, a committed and talented employee base, and long-term successful partnerships with their customers. Chelsea Building Products is a dynamic company with demonstrated innovation in the building products industry and we are delighted at the opportunity this acquisition represents."

"We are pleased to have found the perfect partner for Chelsea Building Products," says Peter Dewil, president. "Together with their financial expertise, Graham's extensive operating resources and industry network will help Chelsea implement its strategy."

“We have a tradition of partnering with excellent middle market manufacturing companies, with the objective of maximizing their growth potential," Graham's Newbold adds. "Chelsea Building Products has a strong track record of innovation and creating tailored customer solutions. The low-energy PVC window and door systems of Chelsea Building Products are an excellent fit with our current portfolio.”

“Chelsea Building Products has recovered strongly after the economic crisis, and offers good growth prospects," notes Albert Vasseur, Tessenderlo Group’s director of plastics converting. "However, in this business we remain a small player and we are not able to reach a market leading position on our own. This divestment will also free up additional means for the group to grow in the areas of food, agriculture, bio-residuals and water management.”

Tessenderlo, which has taken a number of steps in recent years to focus on a number of specialty businesses, says it plans to use the proceeds of this transaction for growth in its core activities. Chelsea was acquired by Tessenderlo in 1997. The U.S. extrusion business employs 180 people and reported 2010 sales of about $50 million, according to the Belgium-based company. 

The Graham transaction does not include Dynaplast Extruco, a vinyl window and door system supplier based in Montreal, or Tessenderlo's European vinyl window profile operations.