Group of Kansas City equity firms buys Arrow Material Handling Products

Arrow Material Handling Products has new owners, a new CEO and a new location.

Arrow manufactures and sells attachments for skid loaders, forklifts and other devices. It was acquired in December by a group of private equity firms in the region that included: Kansas City-based B12 Capital Partners LLC; Leawood-based Kansas Venture Capital Inc.; Overland Park-based MidStates Capital LP; St. Louis-based Capital For Business Inc.; and Diamond State Ventures LP, based in Little Rock, Ark..

John Hense Jr., managing director of Country Club Capital Advisors, represented the seller, Chicago-based Gaslight Equity Group LLC. Enterprise Bank & Trust provided senior debt financing.

"It was a bit of a turnaround project when Gaslight originally bought Arrow," Hense said. "Gaslight got into a position, with a very capable CEO at the helm, where this became a good, successful company with the opportunity to continue further growth. It can continue to spread its footprint throughout the United States, but it has international opportunities as well."

Former CEO Ross Gault Sr. remains with the company as president. New CEO Terry Melvin is a successful entrepreneur who ran a consulting business and has experience running companies such as Raychem Corp., Rosen Products Inc. and Broderson Manufacturing Corp.

"I'm going to sharpen up the team, look at new geography and bring out new products and services," Melvin said. "Arrow is a great opportunity. It's done well over the years, has been growing and profitable. Even through the recent economic downturn, their revenue continued to grow, and they stayed profitable."

That history of growth attracted the interest of Greg Gaeddert, managing partner of B12 Capital Partners.

"It has a nice base that we think we can grow organically through some research and development and engineering-related investments," Gaeddert said. "At the same time, the attachments industry is a fairly niche market, so we can find add-on acquisitions to help grow the company."

The first thing the new ownership group did was move Arrow to a new building. The company spent 43 years in its previous 105,000-square-foot building at 1620 Oakland Ave. in Kansas City, which was more than 100 years old. The new location at 16000 W. 108th St. in Lenexa was built in the mid-1970s and is about 70 percent larger.