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Chicago Switchboard Buys IER Electrical Equipment and Controls

Feb. 14, 2023

 FourBridges Capital Advisors announced that IER Electrical Equipment and Controls (IER), Houston, has been acquired by Chicago Switchboard, Elmhurst, IL, a portfolio company of private-equity fund Promise Holdings. FourBridges acted as the exclusive investment banker to IER and negotiated and structured the transaction on behalf of founder Mike Wolf.

IER is a manufacturer of custom products used for power distribution and motor controls in a wide variety of end markets. Founded in 2000, IER enjoys partnerships with the world’s largest electrical component manufacturers as well as large electrical distributors. The company specializes in the ability to create non-standard and/or custom packaged solutions to fit customers’ specifications including switchboards, motor control centers, enclosed breakers and disconnects and medium voltage switches.

Chicago Switchboard has been a leader in quick-ship, custom built electrical distribution equipment since 1936. The family-owned company was acquired by Chicago-based private equity firm Promise Holdings in April, 2020. Eight months later, an add-on acquisition of Park Detroit provided geographic expansion to the East Coast. IER provides further geographic expansion, including an entry point into the rapidly growing Texas market.

To support the acquisition, an affiliate of Gemspring Capital made a strategic minority investment in Chicago Switchboard. The investment was made by Gemspring Growth Solutions I (GGS I), a fund dedicated to providing flexible, non-control capital solutions to lower middle market businesses.

“We enjoyed working with Mike Wolf and helping him achieve his personal and financial objectives in this transaction,” said Andy Stockett, Managing Director at FourBridges Capital.  “IER has established itself as a ‘go-to’ custom provider to a number of blue chip customers across the country, and we were pleased to find a partner that will carry on that legacy.”

“The demand for products made by IER is being driven by the increase in ‘on-shoring’ of manufacturing back to the U.S. as well as infrastructure upgrades across the electrical grid,” added FourBridges Vice President Clay Stockett. “We were encouraged by the number of interested buyers for the company, and ultimately found Chicago Switchboard to be the best fit.”

The team of Brad Wood, Spencer Newman, Robert Waller and Brian Howaneic of Maynard Cooper Gale acted as legal counsel to IER and Bevin Hartnett of Pinebrook Wealth Strategies of Raymond James acted as Mr. Wolf’s personal financial advisor. Chicago Switchboard utilized Chris Linden, Danielle Miller and Jay Pietig of Linden Law as legal counsel.

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