Boston – Audax Private Equity has announced that it has acquired a controlling interest in 48forty Solutions from Grey Mountain Partners. 48forty is a leading national provider of end-to-end pallet management services across the U.S. and Canada.
“We are thrilled to be partnering with Audax as we embark on an exciting new chapter in our history,” said Norm Plotkin, CEO of 48forty. “This investment will help 48forty continue to consistently deliver high-quality pallets to both national and local accounts, expand our product and service offerings, and explore strategic acquisitions to further accelerate our growth.”
“Grey Mountain partnered with the Company in February 2018 with the goal of achieving operational excellence as a standalone business by providing best in class customer and supplier service as the market leader in recycled pallets,” Grey Mountain said in another announcement. “We are grateful for the opportunity to have worked with this incredibly talented and dedicated management team and the Company’s 2,400+ employees.” Piper Sandler & Co. served as exclusive financial advisor to 48forty and Grey Mountain in the transaction.
48forty Solutions is one of the largest pallet management services companies in North America, with a national network of over 225 facilities, including 44 company-owned and operated plants and more than 180 affiliates. 48forty provides end-to-end pallet solutions, from supply to retrieval, on-site services, reverse logistics, and retail services. Thousands of customers from various industries rely on 48forty to consistently deliver quality pallets, which are a mission-critical component of their supply chain.
“48forty is a best-in-class national provider of recycled pallets that helps customers support the critical and changing demands of their supply chain,” commented Young Lee, Managing Director, Audax Private Equity. “We are excited to support Norm and the entire 48forty team to continue growing the business and serving the needs of our customers across North America.”
“We look forward to partnering with 48forty leadership to support continued growth, both organically as well as through strategic acquisitions,” added Jay Mitchell, Managing Director, Audax Private Equity. “48forty has developed the platform, infrastructure, systems, and processes to execute on acquisitions that further improve access to supply, expand product and service offerings, and extend their national reach.”
Grey Mountain Partners acquired the CHEP recycled pallet business in 2018, which it rebranded as 48forty. At the time, it processed up to 90 million pallets annually.
The roots of 48forty go back for more than 20 years to when PalEx established its network of pallet companies and then broadened after it after the IFCO merger in 2000.
According to an Audax fact sheet, its “Buy & Build approach is the cornerstone of our model. We focus on equity investments in market-leading middle market companies that are poised for growth, then partner with management to drive value creation, build winning teams, and accelerate results. We contribute extensive capabilities and experience in organic revenue acceleration, operational improvements, and capital market efficiencies.”