Orange County Business Journal

Newport Beach PE Firm Buys Gas Valve Maker

Jane Yu Thursday, December 5, 2013

Newport Beach-based private equity firm Windjammer Capital Investors has acquired Engineered Controls International LLC in Elon, N.C. on undisclosed terms.

The purchase was from Sentinel Capital Partners, a New York City-based investment firm that acquired Engineered Controls in 2010 in a management buyout.

Engineered Controls, founded in 1908, is a manufacturer of specialty control equipment for liquefied and compressed gas. Its products include pressure regulators and control valves, and are used globally in transportation and storage of liquefied petroleum gas, liquefied natural gas and industrial gases.

Windjammer’s investment is expected to help Engineered Controls expand internationally, including by acquisitions in China, according to Engineered Controls President Thom Farrell.

Windjammer Managing Director John Donahue said “a renewed focus on clean energy and pollution control are spurring investments in natural gas,” a general trend that could help Engineered Controls gain market share domestically and abroad.

Windjammer currently is investing out of its $726 million Senior Equity Fund IV. The firm typically invests between $30 million and $140 million in companies that have pretax earnings of between $10 million and $40 million.