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Waterman Industries acquired in $5 mil. buyout

Waterman Industries acquired in $5 mil. buyout

The company that made Exeter a household name in international agriculture was acquired this month in a $5 million deal that will keep the company Central Valley-owned.

Last week, The Central Valley Fund (CVF) partnered with the current management of Waterman Industries to acquire the company. Exeter-based Waterman is a leading manufacturer of control gates, valves, and vents primarily used in wastewater treatment facilities and irrigation districts throughout the United States and abroad. The Central Valley Fund’s investment includes $5 million of equity and mezzanine debt.

Founded in 1912, Waterman Industries’ headquarters remains in the complex at 25500 Road 204 just south of Exeter. As one of the most recognized national brands in the water management equipment industry, Waterman also has operations in Lubbock, Texas and Nampa, Idaho. It manufactures more than 100 variations of highly engineered irrigation gates and slides for municipal water authorities and industrial users and has pioneered the manufacturing of gates, valves, and vents for modern age irrigation canals and water systems during its more than 100 year history.

Waterman’s management team will continue to be led by CEO Ken Mikesell and CFO Mike Rogers, who have been leading the company’s daily operations since 2010.

“With the support of CVF, Waterman Industries will accelerate its strategy of expanding its geographic footprint and inventory of mission-critical products and services through both organic growth and new products,” said Ken Mikesell. “Waterman has a demonstrated record of growth and we will continue to improve its position as a valued partner to our customers and vendors. We are very excited about our partnership with CVF and fulfilling our shared vision for the next phase of growth for Waterman Industries.”

Brad Triebsch, Partner at CVF, said, “As a leading independent provider of industrial  gates, valves, and fittings for water systems, Waterman has a strong reputation for technical expertise, customer service, and the broad product offerings required to serve a diverse set of end markets. The Company’s impressive record of growth and its strong management presented an attractive opportunity for investment. We look forward to working with Ken and Mike, their senior management team, and the entire Waterman organization to support the future growth of the company as a leading employer in Tulare County.”

Waterman Industries started from humble beginnings in 1912 when W.A. Waterman moved his sheet metal shop to Exeter. to better service new irrigation in the area. In 1953, Waterman Industries built its first cast iron canal gates and shortly thereafter was fabricating larger and more complex radial and slide gates for use in the expanding federal water projects in the West.

In 2012, Waterman Industries celebrated one hundred years of quality service in water management. In that century, the world has changed, but Waterman Industries’ goals haven’t changed since W.A. Waterman first came to Exeter. Customers come first, and the company still prides itself on putting out quality product to both domestic and international customers in both agricultural and wastewater applications. For more information, visit www.watermanusa.com

The Central Valley Fund was established in 2005 to finance later stage growth and buyouts through mezzanine and preferred equity investments. CVF has managed more than $175 million in capital commitments since inception. The fund has offices in Davis and Fresno, Calif.

CVF is focused on making investments in California’s Central Valley and throughout the Western United States. For more information, visit www.centralvalleyfund.com.

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