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Centrum Equities control shifts amid recapitalization
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Wynnchurch's Terry Theodore

Brentwood-based Centrum Equities XV has been recapitalized, and is now controlled by Chicagoland-based Wynnchurch Capital.

Terms of the transaction were not revealed, but a Wynnchurch spokesperson confirmed for VNC this morning that Centrum Equities' former parent, Chicago-based real-estate developer Centrum Properties, is no longer an owner.

The Wynnchurch spokesperson also confirmed that Nashville-based Roger Brown, CEO of Centrum Equities, remains in-place.

Brown has made no public statement on the deal and has not yet responded to a VNC request for comment.

Wynnchurch Partner Terry Theodore indicated in a press release earlier today that his firm sees strong upside for Centrum's Sparta, Tenn. operation.  That unit, also known as LTD Parts Inc., does product design, manufacturing and distribution for the automotive aftermarket.

The Wynnchurch release said the deal involved co-investment by current shareholders and management, as well as senior debt-financing by Centrum’s lender, the Private Bank.

Wynnchurch Capital is a middle-market private-equity investment firm that says it has more than $500 million in aggregate capital under management in its funds, which specialize in "management buyouts, recapitalizations, corporate carve-outs, restructurings and growth capital investments."

A few years ago, Centrum Equities pursued acquisition of Shoney's Restaurants, but then terminated the deal, amid acrimony.

Centrum Equities also bought the LTD Parts aftermarket business from Michigan-based Visteon Corporation, the Ford Motor Co. spin-off that once controlled the Ford Glass Works, in Nashville.

Since then, Brown and COO Terry Howard have been leading Centrum Equities' Sparta business through turnaround and restructuring.

Howard's quote in today's Wynnchurch news release suggests the company considers the turnaround incomplete.  Howard said, "We are proud of the significant progress we made in restructuring the business and are excited to have a partner in Wynnchurch that embraces a culture of operational excellence and continuous improvement.”

Centrum Equities' Sparta facility produces "climate control products such as radiators, condensers and air conditioning products, remanufactured starters and alternators, hydraulic steering systems, rack and pinion systems and power steering pumps."  ♦

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Tags: automotive, Centrum Equities, Centrum Properties, Ford Glass Works, Ford Motor Co., LTD Parts, private equity, Roger Brown, Shoney's Restaurants, Terry Howard, Terry Theodore, The Private Bank, Visteon Corp., Wynnchurch Capital

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