Back in 2013, KKR snapped up three big industrial company units: the Crosby Group, Acco Material Handling Solutions, and Westar Aviation Services. Four years later, industrial companies continue to be popular amongst investors, with Altra Industrial Motion Corporation recently rated a Strong Buy by Zacks, while San Francisco-based Nazareth Enterprises and Dermody Properties both made big purchases this month.
KKR actually purchased Crosby and Acco on the same day in October 2013 for a total of about $1 billion. According to Pete Stavros, head of KKR’s industrial investment team, “Crosby and Acco have long and distinguished histories of providing distributors and end customers with the highest quality products and customer support to meet their lifting and rigging needs.
“We are excited to partner with the many dedicated employees of both companies and look forward to working together to begin a new chapter of growth and global expansion,” Stavros added.
KKR’s third industrial purchase at the time—a minority stake in the Malaysian company Weststar Aviation Services—began KKR’s move into international industrial investments.
In the ensuing years, industrial investments have continued to grow. Altra Industrial Motion Corporation (AIMC) was recently upgraded by Zacks to a #1 rank, or Strong Buy. In July, AIMC shares yielded a 10.82 percent return, outperforming the average industry percentage of 3.55 percent. Additionally, earnings per share and revenues were better than their respective Zacks Consensus Estimate—by 11.76 percent for earnings per share and 1.15 percent for revenues. These gains were likely due to the company’s acquisition of Stromag, a company that manufactures industrial transmission parts, in January 2017.
Meanwhile in San Francisco, industrial investments are increasing as well—especially when it comes to real estate. San Mateo-based Nazareth Enterprises purchased two properties in the Madrone Business Park in Morgan Hill, making it the largest industrial landlord in the city. And Dermody Properties recently bought the SF Fremont Industrial Center.
“The San Francisco Bay Area is a hub for many industries ranging from technology and e-commerce to omnichannel retail, distribution, and manufacturing,” explained Dermody President Douglas Kiersey.
One thing’s for sure: industrial expansion, in particular interest from investment companies—is not likely to fade away anytime soon.