Clarke Karcher Diversey

Cleanlink News | 12/21/2012


Cequent Consumer Products Buys Harper Brush Works

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Harper Brush Works, Inc. has completed a going concern sale transaction with Cequent Consumer Products, Inc. of Solon, OH.  Equity Partners CRB, a Maryland-based investment banker, served as intermediary for the seller.

In mid-August 2012, Equity Partners CRB was retained in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Iowa as the exclusive broker for the company. Harper Brush Works had seen its revenues decline from over $50 million a year to under $7 million, and was losing more than $200,000 per month. Equity Partners CRB’s charge was to quickly find a buyer for the business before it was forced to shut down. They ran an exhaustive marketing process reaching out to thousands of prospective bidders. Six groups qualified to bid at what turned out to be a lively auction.

Following more than 25 bids, Cequent Consumer Products, Inc. was named the successful bidder at a price roughly doubling the initial publicly disclosed bid, known as the “Stalking Horse” bid. Almost all of the 55 full time employees were retained, and the plant continues to operate today.

Fred Cross, Managing Director at Equity Partners CRB said, “This result is better than anyone expected.  Harper Brush Works, Inc. brings countless synergies to Cequent and the sale brought a far greater recovery to creditors than a liquidation would have.  Keeping the jobs in Fairfield, Iowa and building on these synergies will make this acquisition a great success for Cequent, long into the future.  All of us at Equity Partners CRB are happy to see an outcome like this and we look forward to another 112 years of American made Harper products.”

Other professionals who worked on the transaction include:

· Marc Ross, Chief Restructuring Officer to Harper Brush Works, Inc. throughout their bankruptcy.

· Jeffrey Goetz, Bradshaw, Fowler, Proctor & Fairgrave, P.C., counsel to Harper Brush Works, Inc.

· Lisa Epps Dade, Spencer Fane Britt & Browne LLP, counsel to UMB Bank

· Matt Barberich, MarksNelson Vohland Campbell Radetic LLC, Forensic Accountant to UMB Bank

· Joe Peiffer, Day Rettig Peiffer, P.C., counsel to the Creditor Committee Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors

· Aaron Silver, Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn LLP, counsel to Cequent Consumer Products, Inc.




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