Current Issue

Astorg acquires belt maker Megadyne

Comments Email

FAIRFIELD, N.J.—Belt maker Megadyne S.p.A. and its U.S. manufacturing and sales arm, Jason Industrial Inc., have been looking for ways to accelerate their growth through acquisitions for some time.

They'll get that opportunity thanks in part to a new owner with deep pockets. Astorg Partners has signed an agreement to purchase a majority stake in the Megadyne group of companies from the Tadolini family, Fondo Italiano d'Investimento and senior management at Megadyne.

The deal is subject to approvals from relevant competition and regulatory authorities. Financial details were not disclosed.

Management of Megadyne and Jason Industrial, along with other current shareholders in the company, will reinvest back into the business and retain a 25-percent minority ownership of the firm, according to Philip Cohenca, president and CEO of Jason Industrial, a member of Megadyne's board of directors and a shareholder of the company.

Giorgio and Marco Tadolini will continue to lead the belt maker as executive chairman and managing director. The remainder of the current management team also will remain in place as will the company's work force of about 1,600.

The Tadolinis said Astorg has demonstrated a strong understanding of the belt and hose business, adding that the transaction represents an opportunity to accelerate the growth of Megadyne internationally via acquisitions to create a formidable platform.

Cohenca said there will be no changes in the way Megadyne or Jason Industrial do business. “We have a solid foundation and our growth rate has been in double digits,” he said.

The Megadyne group of companies wants to enter new end markets, and Astorg gives the company that opportunity, Cohenca said from Jason Industrial's headquarters in Fairfield. “We want to grow geographically in areas where we are not participating today or where we don't have a big presence.”

Agriculture, for example, is a segment that interests the company, he said. And while it does operate in Asia, Eastern Europe, Latin America and India, all are areas where the group would like to expand.

“We actively pursued the acquisition,” Cohenca said, “because we want to triple our size, and we needed access to funding and expertise for future acquisitions.” Numerous companies sought to purchase the Megadyne group and “we narrowed the list down to five and then to one. It was a long process,” he said.

“Astorg was happy with what it saw in Megadyne and we were happy with Astorg's commitment,” he added. “We have a very profitable business, and we are trying to build on that foundation.”

Formed in 1957, Mathi, Italy-headquartered Megadyne is a large global producer of premium polyurethane and rubber belts, pulleys and complementary products used for industrial applications.

The company has 10 manufacturing sites and 33 commercial branches spread across the U.S., Europe and Asia.

In the fall of 2013, Megadyne expanded its position in the conveyor belt industry by purchasing Rultrans Transmisyon A.S., a Turkey-based manufacturer of rubber and polyurethane power transmission belts.

Jason Industrial, founded in 1958, manufactures and markets rubber industrial V-belts, neoprene and urethane synchronous belts and related hardware, and supplies hose to a large customer base in the Americas.

It operates a manufacturing facility in Charlotte, N.C., with sales and distribution centers in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Brazil, and has established an operation in Central America.