CHICAGO, IL / BIRMINGHAM, MI – Colfax Creek Capital and Rock River Capital Partners formed Fluence Automation LLC to acquire the mail and parcel sorting business unit of Bell and Howell. The acquisition included the mail and parcel sorting systems / hardware and related software and service revenue associated with the hardware as well as assets that will be leveraged for growth opportunities in the material handling and e-commerce fulfillment markets.
Colfax Creek and Rock River, along with key members of the management team, partnered with Tecum Capital Partners, Midwest Mezzanine and Wintrust Bank to acquire the business unit. All three partners have significant industry experience and provide a strong and stable capital base that will support the company’s growth objectives.
Fluence Automation will be led by Bell and Howell’s tenured VP and General Manager of Sorting, Mike Swift as President and CEO. “Fluence Automation will expand its position in the mail and parcel sorting market, making further investments in new market segments, including e-commerce, to accelerate growth,” Swift said. “Our automated solutions enable break-through productivity and speed-of-delivery improvements, backed by an outstanding suite of software and world-class customer support.”
“We are pleased to partner with Mike Swift and the Fluence team. Mike has led the business unit since 1999 and has a knowledgeable team in place,” said Ryan Satterfield of Rock River Capital. “We are focused on leveraging Fluence’s leadership position in its core mail processing market to continue to serve the expanding customer base. With this acquisition, we have provided Mike and the team with the capital necessary to take advantage of growth opportunities in the company’s core market as well as growth opportunities in the rapidly expanding material handling market.”
Jason Duzan of Colfax Creek added “that the relationship with our three capital partners is ideal.” “They are not only established middle market company investors, but they bring industry experiences to the company.”
Mike Swift, CEO of Fluence, added, “Colfax Creek and Rock River provide a long-term perspective to investing and are supportive of our growth objectives. We are focused on service and software improvements, product enhancements, international expansion and investment into e-commerce applications. My team and I are highly energized by this acquisition as it further enables us to focus on our existing and new emerging markets in our space.”
Colfax Creek is a private investment firm that takes a long-term approach to investing in smaller middle market companies. The firm invests in consumer product, service, and industrial companies in the Great Lake States. We prefer to support existing management in control investments, but we will support limited management transitions. Colfax Creek is based in Birmingham, MI. For more information visit: www.colfaxcreek.com.
About Rock River Capital
Rock River Capital is a Chicago-based private investment firm focused on investing in growing industrial and services businesses as well as other growth oriented opportunities. We generally prefer to partner with existing management in ownership transition situations and take a long term, patient approach. For more information visit: www.rockrivercp.com.
About Fluence Automation
Fluence Automation is an innovative technology solutions company that is headquartered in Wheeling, IL. Fluence Automation sells mail and parcel sorting systems and owns a portfolio of mail and parcel labeling technologies that are increasingly being adapted for the e-commerce fulfillment market. Fluence provides long-term support and customer care through its robust suite of software focused on vision/recognition and sorting applications and a service support network that is based primarily in the US with operating subsidiaries in the UK and Germany. For more information visit: www.fluenceautomation.com.