Case Study

The Transformation of Atlas-SSI: Leading the Market in Specialty Equipment Manufacturing for Industrial and Municipal Water Applications

Private Equity investor hires a CEO to integrate acquisitions and build a growth platform in manufacturing specialty equipment for water infrastructure creating the largest manufacturer of traveling water screens and bulk material handling in North America

By Thomas Zay

The Client

Atlas-SSI is North America’s largest full-service manufacturer of raw water intake equipment, traveling water screens, trash rake systems and cooling tower valves and screens used in power plants, industrial facilities and municipal water control infrastructure. Its material handling division designs and builds high-performance industrial clamshell buckets and grapples that meet strict industry standards and are used by many of the world’s largest port facilities and dredging companies. It was formed by private equity investor XPV Water Partners through the acquisition of two founder-led companies with more than 30-years history and strong positions in specialty equipment for water infrastructure.

The Challenge

Boyden was retained shortly after the acquisition by XPV to recruit a CEO to integrate the two businesses, align the management team, professionalize business processes and systems, develop a strategy and drive the execution of a plan for profitable growth (organic and M&A), preparing it for a successful exit in 3 to 5 years.

The Solution

We employed a multi-pronged approach using research and networking to target alumni of world-class manufacturers, CEO’s with prior experience leading a high growth PE backed company, and high-potential entrepreneurial manufacturing executives with proven experience leading a growth initiative.

The search focused on leadership, cultural fit and adaptability and a candidate’s ability to readily relate to and earn credibility with both a financially oriented investor group and local personnel in a low-tech, manufacturing business located in a rural setting in the southeast United States.

The Results

Boyden presented a diverse slate of four candidates.  The finalist candidate had been the President and COO at a PE backed global integrated manufacturer and service provider of chemical tanks, cargo carrying units, catalyst bins, etc. leading its successful growth from $20M to $200M and successful sale to a private equity investor.

About the Author
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