Date of Acquisition: August 31, 2018
Selling Entity: Gartner Refrigeration & Manufacturing Inc., located in Plymouth, MN
Buying Entity: Gartner Refrigeration Inc.
Company Background: Gartner Refrigeration & Manufacturing Inc., a privately held company, was founded in 1945 as a family business in South Minneapolis. In 1949, the company partnered with the Frick Company and developed its industrial business, which has grown exponentially over the years. Gartner Refrigeration is a market leader in the design, installation, and service of mission critical commercial refrigeration and freezer systems for the food, dairy, and beverage industries, as well as ice arenas, test chambers, and air dryers. Today the company is based in Plymouth, Minnesota and has clients across the United States.
Situation: The President and Owner of Gartner, John Hendrickson, is a second-generation owner, working at Gartner for over 50 years, and as President for more than 40 years. John wanted to prepare for his eventual retirement and set out to find a Buyer that would make sure the company stayed intact and retained the family atmosphere that helped make it successful and insure job security for all the employees. Post-closing, John Hendrickson was willing to stay on-board as a co-owner with the new Buyer and as President for two years before he transitions to Chairman of the Board.
Outcome: Stew Stender of Stewart Capital Partners, along with John Hendrickson and two other partners including Tom Gunkel of Franklin Companies, formed Gartner Refrigeration Inc. to acquire Gartner Refrigeration & Manufacturing Inc. The Buyers began building a great working relationship with Gartner in 2009, when Gartner was hired to run a large cold storage facility that was owned by two of the eventual partners in Gartner. This working relationship spurred the Buyers’ interest in approaching Gartner about a possible sale of the business. These discussions culminated with the successful closing of the sale on August 31, 2018. Gartner and its new owners will continue to build its professional management team, maintain its culture, establish a seasoned board of directors and invest in the company’s growth. The company is focused on expanding the Design-Build construction division as well as increasing the service and parts business. The company will also scout for synergistic companies to acquire.
For more information, please see: www.gartner-refrig.com