June 6, 2017 - Lignetics, Inc. (Lignetics) announced the acquisition of the Marth Companies LLC which includes manufacturing plants in Marathon, Athens, and Peshtigo, Wisc. as well as the Marth Transportation trucking assets, giving Lignetics a strong position in the Wisconsin and upper mid-west markets. Lignetics is the largest residential wood pellet manufacturing company in the U.S. which now has a production capacity of approximately 650,000 tons of wood pellets per year. The company is the only pellet manufacturing company that has wood pellet manufacturing plants in the East, Central, and West geography with nine plant locations in the states of Maine, Oregon, Idaho, West Virginia, Virginia, Wisconsin.
“Completing this acquisition is a significant step in continuing to execute our strategy to expand our geographic footprint in the U.S. and remain the market leader in the residential wood pellet industry,” stated Brett Jordan, CEO of Lignetics. “The Marth Companies have long been the leader in the Wisconsin market with a diverse product offering of high quality wood products and relationships with an amazing group of customers managed by a very talented team, whose goal is to continue to provide a superior product and excellent customer service.”
Jerry Natzke, owner of the Marth Companies LLC will stay on to manage the three Wisconsin plants and the trucking operations as General Manager of Lignetics central division. Jerry said of the transaction, “After careful consideration, it was clear to me that Lignetics and Marth have a shared vision of how we can create a business that can serve our customers, vendors, employees, and shareholders even better with merged operations. I am excited to bring these businesses together and continue to help build on the legacy of the Marth business as part of a larger entity.” Jerry will also continue with a minority ownership position in the new combined entity.
Financing for the transaction was provided by Taglich Private Equity LLC, management and Gladstone Capital Corporation, who provided subordinated debt and equity financing, along with Texas Capital Bank, who provided syndicated senior debt, which included Sterling National Bank and River Valley Bank in support of the transaction. Will Morris, Managing Director of Taglich Private Equity noted that Lignetics continues to be interested in exploring additional add-on acquisitions. “We are excited about this acquisition and the growth opportunities in our business to support our goal of being the largest and highest quality residential wood pellet manufacturing company in the U.S.”, stated Morris.
Lignetics was founded in 1983 and is one of the founding pioneers of manufacturing premium wood pellets and Pres-to-Logs fire logs for home heating. Lignetics offers a broad array of products that include wood fuel pellets in bagged and bulk form, animal bedding pellets and shavings, BBQ pellets in a variety of flavours and compressed wood bricks and logs. For more information on Lignetics and all its products, visit www.lignetics.com.
Marth was founded by Jerry Natzke’s grandparents, Milton and Geraldine Marth who recognized the value of local saw mill residuals as animal bedding for their turkey farm, and it was in 1958 that they began to focus their business on providing high quality wood shavings to local area farmers. Since that time, three more generations of the family have grown the business to include pellets, wood chips, wood flour, and the trucking operation which provides the seamless connection to both suppliers and customers.
Taglich Private Equity LLC is a financial sponsor which has been investing since 2001 in lower middle market manufacturing, business service and consumer product companies. Taglich has completed transactions totalling over $500 million funded primarily with capital provided by Taglich Brothers, Inc., a full service brokerage firm managing capital in both public and private investments. Taglich focuses on finding sound investment opportunities with capable management and delivering significant growth resources and capital to portfolio investments. For more information on Taglich Private Equity LLC, visit www.taglichpe.com.