Based in Minnetonka, Minnesota, Applied Adhesives is a leading supplier of hot melt, water‐based, and reactive adhesives for the packaging, assembly, graphic arts, and paper converting industries. The Company partners with the world’s leading adhesive and dispensing equipment manufacturers, including Henkel, HB Fuller, Bostik, and Nordson, to provide premier adhesives solutions to manufacturers throughout North America. The Company provides key value‐added services that improve its customers’ processes and optimize profitability through insightful, experience‐based adhesives recommendations. Applied Adhesives is the result of a strategic combination between Ward Adhesives and Applied Products, which was completed in 2012.
The Company was majority owned by Ellipse Capital, a Chicago-based private equity firm that invests in distribution businesses. Management also held a significant minority ownership position in the business. In the fall of 2016, Applied’s shareholders engaged Grace Matthews to explore a sale process that would provide liquidity to Ellipse Capital and other investors. Grace Matthews contacted both strategic buyers in the distribution industry as well as private equity groups that could deploy additional capital and resources to continue building the Company’s growth trajectory.
Grace Matthews executed a timely, efficient sale process that generated a significant amount of interest from both strategic and private equity buyers. Ultimately, the shareholders entered into a transaction with Goldner Hawn Johnson & Morrison (GHJ&M), a Minneapolis‐based private equity firm with a commitment to driving value through operational excellence and by partnering with management to support organic growth and bolt-on acquisitions. The transaction provided liquidity to Ellipse Capital while allowing management to maintain a significant ownership in the business and brought Applied an experienced partner committed to executing the Company’s growth strategy.