LOS ANGELES (September 29, 2023) – Platinum Equity announced today the signing of a definitive agreement to acquire a majority interest in The Cook & Boardman Group (“Cook & Boardman” or “C&B”) from Littlejohn & Co., LLC (“Littlejohn”).
Littlejohn will remain a significant minority shareholder. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Established in 1955 and based in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Cook & Boardman is a leading specialty distributor of commercial door and security integration solutions. The company offers a broad range of products including metal and wood doors, locks, doorframes, and other related building components for non-residential applications. It operates a network of more than 70 locations across 21 states, and services its customers nationwide.
Cook & Boardman’s growing Security Integration division provides electronic safety and security products as well as communications products and solutions, primarily to education and government end markets.
“Cook & Boardman has built an impressive, diversified business with national scale,” said Platinum Equity Co-President Jacob Kotzubei. “Customers in this space want more than just a traditional distributor of doors and hardware. They increasingly need value added solutions, including electronic safety and security systems. We believe Cook & Boardman is uniquely positioned to capitalize on that growing demand for integrated solutions. We look forward to working with the company’s leadership group and our partners at Littlejohn to continue growing the business.”
Platinum Equity and Littlejohn have partnered multiple times in the past, including most recently as co-owners of Interior Logic Group, a provider of interior design and finish solutions for the homebuilding industry. The firms sold ILG in 2021.
Steven Raich, Littlejohn Managing Director said, “We are proud to have supported Cook & Boardman’s substantial growth by expanding its footprint nationally and bringing innovative combined commercial door and security integration solutions to the market. We are confident that Platinum is the right partner to continue executing the company’s growth plan and look forward to working with them as a meaningful shareholder to drive the next phase of Cook & Boardman’s evolution.”
Cook & Boardman has built an impressive, diversified business with national scale. Customers in this space want more than just a traditional distributor of doors and hardware. They increasingly need value added solutions, including electronic safety and security systems. We believe Cook & Boardman is uniquely positioned to capitalize on that growing demand for integrated solutions. We look forward to working with the company’s leadership group and our partners at Littlejohn to continue growing the business.
David Eisner, Cook & Boardman Interim CEO added, “Littlejohn’s proven ability to build and scale businesses has helped us successfully execute strategic acquisitions, expand into the Northeast, Midwest, and West Coast markets, and build our Security Integration division over the past five years. Platinum’s financial resources and operations expertise can now help us take it to another level. We look forward to working with Platinum and Littlejohn to support our associates in delivering market-leading solutions with exceptional service to our customers and communities.”
“C&B competes in a highly fragmented industry with meaningful opportunities to grow organically and through additional M&A,” said Platinum Equity Managing Director Nathan Eldridge. “We expect to continue building scale in core markets while further expanding in specialty categories like safety and security. We have a lot of experience investing in building products businesses and believe we are well positioned to support Cook & Boardman’s growth and ongoing success in the marketplace.”
Platinum Equity’s current building products portfolio includes Jeld Wen’s Australasia business; Cabinetworks, the largest independently owned manufacturer and distributor of kitchen and bath cabinets in the United States; and PGS, a provider of hard surface floor coverings.
The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to close before the end of the year.
BofA Securities served as exclusive financial advisor and Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP served as legal advisor to Cook & Boardman. Latham & Watkins LLP is providing legal counsel and Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP is providing debt financing counsel to Platinum Equity.
About Platinum Equity
Founded in 1995 by Tom Gores, Platinum Equity is a global investment firm with approximately $47 billion of assets under management and a portfolio of approximately 50 operating companies that serve customers around the world. Platinum Equity specializes in mergers, acquisitions and operations – a trademarked strategy it calls M&A&O® – acquiring and operating companies in a broad range of business markets, including manufacturing, distribution, transportation and logistics, equipment rental, metals services, media and entertainment, technology, telecommunications and other industries. Over the past 27 years Platinum Equity has completed more than 350 acquisitions.
About Littlejohn & Co., LLC:
Littlejohn & Co. is a Greenwich, Connecticut-based investment firm focused on private equity and debt investments primarily in growing middle-market industrial and services companies that can benefit from Littlejohn’s 25+ years of operational and sector expertise. With approximately $8 billion in regulatory assets under management, the firm seeks to build sustainable success for its portfolio companies through a disciplined approach to engineering change. For more information about Littlejohn, visit www.littlejohnllc.com.
About Cook & Boardman Group
Cook & Boardman is the nation’s leading distributor of commercial doors, frames & hardware, electronic access control equipment and specialty (Division 10) products. The company is also one of the nation’s largest and fastest growing providers of integrated security solutions – including physical security, access control, wireless networking, low voltage cabling, audio/visual and managed information technology products. The company serves multi-family and non-residential markets including the commercial, education, government, healthcare, office and hospitality sectors from more than 70 locations across 21 states and nationwide through its eCommerce portal at Www.Cookandboardman.Com.