Ace Products Inc., a maker of semi-pneumatic tires and wheels for the agricultural and outdoor power equipment industries, has a new owner and a renewed drive to improve its presence in the markets it serves.
The company, which claims to have 95 percent of the semi-pneumatic gauge tire and closing wheel segment in the agricultural market, is looking to expand into other areas and develop new products, said Gregg DeSilvio, Ace's vice president of sales and marketing.
Radius Equity Partners L.L.C., a Chicago-based private equity firm, purchased virtually all the assets of Newport-based Ace-now renamed Ace Products L.L.C.-for an undisclosed amount. Included in the sale are three plants, all machinery, technology and products.
Radius, which buys and manages middle-market manufacturing and distribution firms, bought Ace Products from private equity funds Allied Capital Corp. and Code Hennessey Simmons L.L.C.
Jeffry Krajacic, a Radius general partner who was named president and CEO of Ace Products, said Radius intends ``to bring world-class manufacturing and engineering skills to the company to drive better products, improve customer service and increase sales to both existing and new customers alike.'' Ace's goal, he said, is to be the preferred supplier in every market in which it participates.
Ace Products employs about 300, all of whom will be retained by the company, at plants in Conneautville and Lineville, Pa., and Newport.
Besides tires and wheels, Ace Products custom mixes and molds rubber and makes EPDM rubber hose.
The company got its start in the 1970s when Firestone Tire & Rubber Co. sold its Newport-based industrial tire business to local investors.