VDT Postle

Tiffany Farrow/The Valdosta Daily Times Postle Distributors, a manufacturer and distributor of aluminum products, with facilities located in Valdosta, has been bought by Allied Capital for $72.5 million.

VALDOSTA — Allied Capital, one of the top private equity firms in the United States, has committed $72.5 million to support the buyout of Postle Distributors Inc., a vertically integrated distributor and manufacturer of standard and custom aluminum extrusions and related components. One of the company’s three facilities is located in Valdosta.

The announcement was made Oct. 10, by Allied that it would support private equity firm Strength Capital Partners in the buyout. Allied Capital's commitment took the form of senior secured notes, a revolving credit facility, an undrawn capital expenditures facility and an equity co-investment.

The Valdosta plant opened in 1997 and is located on Production Way in the Azalea West Industrial Park. The local facility features a warehouse of 70,00 square feet with over 5,000,000 pounds of extrusions in stock, custom stocking programs, just in time delivery resulting in inventory reductions for the customer and consignment programs available.

Postle makes products that are sold in a diverse group of markets, including the recreational vehicle, fencing, specialty trailer, aluminum fabrication, truck component and building products. In Northern Indiana, where the majority of domestic RVs are manufactured, Postle enjoys a dominant market position as the largest supplier of structural aluminum extrusions to RV original equipment manufacturers. By operating its own captive aluminum manufacturing plant, Postle provides its customers with ready access to extrusion supplies, quick product turnaround times, and customized orders. Additional distribution locations combined with increased manufacturing capabilities including extruding, painting, anodizing, and fabrication will enable Postle to serve customers better and set the standard even higher.

“Allied Capital is pleased to be partnering for the first time with Strength Capital Partners in support of its buyout of Postle Distributors, one of the largest and most efficient distributors in the aluminum extrusion industry,” Thomas Lauer, Managing Director of Allied Capital, said. “Postle's leading market position and long-standing reputation for customer service will allow the company to continue to benefit from favorable aluminum industry dynamics and growing long-term demand in the end markets that it serves.”

Mark McCammon with Strength Capital Partners, added “Allied Capital has been a true value-added financing partner in this transaction. We look forward to working closely with the Allied Capital team as we build upon Postle's leading market position by expanding its platform of products, services and customers.”

The former owner and entrepreneur, John Postle, will remain active in the business as a shareholder and member of the Board of Directors, according to Ray Barnes, national sales manager and employee of 32 years. Postle decided to sell because he wanted more time to enjoy life and knew that the new owner’s extra capital would have a very positive effect on the company.

The extra capital will take Postle to a new level, expanding the existing operation to include new extrusion and painting capabilities and possibly new markets. While the company may soon operate under a new name that reflects its many different aspects, for now, day-to-day operations remain normal and only slightly refined, Barnes explained. Several new corporation positions will make the company more structured, but these new positions will rely on the principles that Postle has throughout its existence.

“It’s business as usual with some refinement which should really make this quite a venture for everyone involved,” Barnes said. “This is exciting for everyone concerned.”

Founded in 1974 and based in Elkhart, Ind., Postle Distributors serves over 975 active customers in the recreational vehicle, fencing, specialty trailer, aluminum fabrication, truck component and building products markets. In addition to its main distribution facility in Elkhart, the company maintains two other facilities located in Valdosta and Woodland, Calif., giving it a national footprint.

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