LewisGoetz & Company

Growing a National Footprint

Summary

Worked closely with the founder and successor CEO to create the first national distributor of fabricated rubber products by executing nine add-on acquisitions and establishing national accounts.

Background

Headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, LewisGoetz and Company, Inc. (LewisGoetz) is the leader in mission-critical hose, sealing and belting products that keep businesses running. Providing a vital link in the production chain, its products also ensure the safety, productivity and profitability of its customers. Since 1982 LewisGoetz has been recognized as a distribution leader for industrial markets. Audax recognized its potential for national expansion.

Challenge

Founder David Goetz’s mission was to grow LewisGoetz into a national distribution platform with locations across the United States to properly service its clients. In addition, he wanted to minimize the financial risk and get the added support of a firm with significant add-on acquisition experience. Appointing CEO Jeff Crane and bringing in the Audax team, the founder was able to help steer his company to nationwide prominence. The Audax team saw the potential of creating a national powerhouse in an extremely fragmented market.

Audax acquired LewisGoetz in June 2007. Together, management and the Audax team quickly created the only independent national distributor of rubber products in North America. LewisGoetz had a great foundation thanks to its customer service, quality products and broad inventory base, but after partnering with Audax, it also had the resources and tools to identify, execute and integrate strategic acquisitions to drive rapid growth.

The Audax Difference

Working hand-in-hand with the management team, Audax Private Equity helped LewisGoetz create a broad national footprint to service key national accounts. Despite the 2009 economic crisis, the company flourished with Audax’s support – executing nine add-on acquisitions to expand its reach and enter new markets (agriculture, food, pulp & paper and downstream oil & gas). Greatly increasing overall margins, LewisGoetz now boasted an unrivaled footprint and quickly became the go-to rubber products distributor in the industry with an unmatched distribution footprint.

Recognizing the Company’s brand and operational value, Netherlands-based industrial service provider ERIKS NV acquired LewisGoetz in November 2011 and kept the company’s name and operations intact. Today, LewisGoetz continues to invest in people, quality processes and systems to ensure it can provide consistent, reliable, high quality products and services to all of its customers – be it a single local customer or the largest multinational corporation with facilities across North America.


The Audax team’s commitment to our growth and strategic support enabled us to execute nine add-on acquisitions and create a national footprint. Working together, we flourished during our five years of partnership, even through the depths of the 2009 recession.”

  • Jeffrey T. Crane President & CEO, LewisGoetz

CEO Jeff Crane fully leveraged our team’s resources and used them to successfully build a national distribution business. Now part of a leading global service provider, we know LewisGoetz will remain a leading distributor to the industrial community for decades to come.”

  • Keith Palumbo Managing Director, Audax Private Equity