CHICAGO, July 17, 2008 – City Capital Advisors, LLC (“CCA”) announced today the sale of Highsmith, Inc. (“Highsmith”) to the Lab Safety Supply division of W.W. Grainger (NYSE: GWW) for an undisclosed amount.
Highsmith, headquartered near Madison in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin, is a leading participant in the school and library supply, furniture and equipment market and the pre-kindergarten through fifth grade (“PK-5”) supplemental educational publishing market. Highsmith is a leading distributor of over 40,000 products that include supplies, displays and signage, furniture and audiovisual equipment and instructional resources for schools and school libraries, as well as public, academic and special libraries throughout the U.S. Highsmith is also an active publisher of high quality educational games, children’s books and a subscription based resource magazine. In addition, the Company is a leading marketer, and project manager, of school and library-specific furniture and equipment for new school and library construction projects as well as major refurbishments.
Duncan Highsmith commented, “We are very pleased with the outcome of this transaction. City Capital conducted a highly competitive process that emphasized the value of the Highsmith brand, the Company’s competitive market position and its growth opportunities. We were confident in making a fully informed decision when we selected Lab Safety. City Capital’s knowledge of our business and sound advice resulted in the best possible outcome for the Company, its customers, and employees.”
“City Capital is very pleased to have worked with Highsmith on this exciting transaction,” said Mark Timmerman, City Capital Managing Director. “The Company has built an incredible brand over many years as its market position and brand equity has continued to strengthen. One of our many objectives during this engagement, in addition to maximizing value for our client, was to manage a process that would ultimately deliver a buyer well suited to facilitate the long-term objectives of the business. We believe Lab Safety represents an ideal and committed buyer equipped with the expertise and resources to enable the Company to realize future potential.”
About City Capital Advisors
City Capital is a results oriented investment and merchant banking firm whose sole mission is to provide senior level corporate finance advise and unparalleled execution services to leading middle market companies and their owners throughout North America. Client engagements are managed by experienced senior bankers who have built successful practices at renowned investment banks, but sought a more focused environment from which to advise their clients in a highly responsive manner. The firm’s advisory capabilities include mergers and acquisitions, leveraged recapitalization, private capital formation for growth/acquisitions/ownership transition, financial restructurings, and originating and managing direct investments. The firm’s broad experience and extensive relationships with leading strategic buyers and financial investors span a wide variety of industries and transaction structures, which enables City Capital to offer its clients unique and proprietary execution.