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Gloucester rebuild sales, reputation
Written by Bill Bregar, published June 13
GLOUCESTER, MASS. — Gloucester Engineering Co. is beefing up its product development and hiring salespeople and engineers, as management works to restore the machinery manufacturer’s luster under its third year of ownership by Blue Wolf Capital Partners LLC.
“It’s a reputational rebuild around the core of blown film and cast film,” CEO Mark Steele said. “But we also have a strong history around foam and sheet. So the focus has been on rebuilding that core, restoring customer confidence.”
The New York private equity firm took ownership of Gloucester Engineering as the company emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy Jan. 3, 2011. Blue Wolf had provided debtor-in-possession financing during the case, to ensure Gloucester Engineering’s continuing operation. Blue Wolf converted its secured debt to equity ownership.
But that’s old news now, as Blue Wolf hired Steele for the CEO spot in early 2011. Steele is experienced both in leading manufacturing companies and working with private equity owners.
Blue Wolf is taking a long-term approach to rebuilding the 52-year company, Steele said. Gloucester Chairman Michael Ranson, a partner at Blue Wolf, visits the company several times a quarter.
“I’ve worked with six different private equity firms, so I have benchmarks on this, and he’s absolutely the most active chairman that I’ve ever worked with,” Steele said.
He said every employee and executive is important.