UTEX Industries

Sealing the Deal for Success

Summary

Worked closely with the CEO to execute a growth strategy focused on operational improvements, new product introductions and two major add-on acquisitions.

Background

Headquartered in Houston, Texas, UTEX Industries, Inc. (UTEX) offers a complete line of sealing products and services. Established in 1940, UTEX has a long history as the leader in the fluid sealing industry. Owned by a small private equity firm for a short time before Audax purchased the company, there was a clear opportunity to further scale the company to meet rising demands from the oil and gas industry.

Challenge

With a background in lean manufacturing, the newly appointed CEO saw a major opportunity to efficiently scale the company. The Audax team immediately saw the company’s market potential, as well as the CEO’s talent, and knew it would be able to help bring the CEO’s vision to life.

Audax acquired UTEX in May of 2007. The team worked with the CEO to drive strong revenue growth by entering new markets and launching complementary products.  Margin growth was accomplished through pricing optimization and lean manufacturing initiatives. In fact, UTEX and Audax completed 60 lean manufacturing projects across six facilities in less than two years.  Together, they came up with creative ways to reduce costs and proactively prepare the company for expected market shifts.

The Audax Difference

Providing hands-on support, Audax Private Equity helped UTEX establish itself as a global sealing company. Through the 2009 economic downturn, Audax helped UTEX invest in new product technologies. Audax executed two add-on acquisitions that added complementary products to its portfolio, driving substantial share gain and revenue growth. In addition, Audax launched an offshore sourcing program and rationalized redundant manufacturing capacity.

With distributors in more than 50 countries, UTEX is now the global one-stop-shop for sealing requirements and maintenance needs. UTEX currently manufactures a complete range of products, including gaskets, gasket sheet products, proprietary high-tech ‘O’ rings, molded packings and seals for reciprocating pumps, hydraulics, mechanical seals, braided packings, maintenance products and custom rubber-molded products.


Together, we weathered a tough economic storm in 2009 and 2010 that crippled many other companies. Thanks to our proactive cost reduction and workforce optimization efforts, UTEX was able to prosper and drive revenue growth. The Audax team helped us build UTEX into the global industry leader it was meant to be.”

  • Mike Balas CEO of UTEX Industries, Inc.

CEO Mike Balas and the UTEX management team are an incredibly talented group. We view UTEX’s lean manufacturing initiatives as a gold standard for creatively reducing labor and manufacturing costs. A proven leader in sealing technology innovation, UTEX is primed to continue on its upward trajectory.”

  • Young Lee Managing Director, Audax Private Equity