Crestview Partners took the first step on its mission to build a market-leading global automation solutions provider by completing a majority investment in Canadian automation systems integrator JMP Solutions.
JMP designs, engineers and integrates hardware and software to automate its customers’ manufacturing, production and distribution facilities. Founded in 1987 In London, Ontario, the firm serves industrial and consumer end markets across the U.S. and Canada.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Crestview said it plans to invest $200 million in the global automation solutions market. The New York-based private equity firm estimated the market to be valued at more than $500 billion, and said it is particularly focused on the $70 billion global systems integration and connectivity segments.
“We systematically look for niche markets where we believe we can increase the scope of products and services offered and the geographic reach of the businesses to create global solutions providers in markets that lack them,” said Crestview Co-President & Partner Alex Rose.
Crestview cut its teeth in the automation solutions segment with its acquisition of Holland, Michigan-based JR Automation in 2015 for an undisclosed amount. Crestview expanded the firm from $170 million in sales and five production facilities in the U.S to more than $600 million of sales and 23 facilities worldwide before cashing out in 2019 with a $1.45 billion sale to Hitachi.
Aiming to replicate that success, Mike DuBose, Crestview operating executive and former executive chairman of JR Automation, will serve as executive chairman of JMP and work closely with the management team to build out the platform.
“JMP is the first of many companies we hope to bring together to create a global market leader with operations throughout North America, Europe and Asia,” DuBose said. He noted that the automation solutions industry has at its back strong tailwinds that are expected to endure, including rising labor costs coupled with falling robot prices, shifting global supply chains and growing demand for precise manufacturing and production.
“We are proud of the legacy and reputation we have built with our customers by providing high-quality automation solutions in North America for more than three decades,” said Scott Shawyer, who will continue in his role as JMP President and maintain a significant shareholder in the company. “We are excited to work with the team at Crestview as JMP takes this next step in its evolution.”