Watertown company purchases shed company to expand offerings
BY MICHAEL C. JULIANO REPUBLICAN-AMERICAN
A company that makes fabric-covered shelters and shade products in Watertown says it has formed the world's largest outdoor storage provider following a recent acquisition.
ShelterLogic Corp,. which has a factory at 150 Callender Road and a warehouse in the Watertown Industrial Park, purchased metal shed manufacturer Arrow Sheds, the company announced.
Paul Rodrigues, ShelterLogic spokesman, said the company acquired Arrow Sheds, also known as Arrow Storage Products, because of a "very good synergy" between the companies.
Privately held ShelterLogic announced the purchase last month but the company did not disclose what it paid for Arrow Sheds, which is also privately held. ShelterLogic is owned by private equity firms RFE Investment Partners, headquartered in New Canaan, and Westport-based Charter Oak Equity LP.
"We own the category of fabric-covered sheds, and they own metal sheds, so it's just an expansion of a category for us," Rodrigues said. "They also have a good stronghold in Europe, which is very attractive to us."
ShelterLogic was founded in 1991 in North Haven. The company moved to Watertown in 2005. Arrow Sheds is based in Breese, Ill. There are no plans to consolidate the factories or lay off any workers, the company stated.
ShelterLogic claims the merger with Arrow Sheds will create the world's largest outdoor storage company because, Rodrigues said, no other company has ShelterLogic's range of outdoor storage products. ShelterLogic states it has made more than 3 million shelters to date.
"There's no competitor worldwide that we know of that makes as many styles and configurations that we do," he said. "By adding Arrow Sheds, we will just expand that lead."
The acquisition is a typical deal where ShelterLogic acts as the platform company for add-on acquisitions such as Arrow Sheds, said Roger Aguinaldo, founder and co-chief executive officer of The M&A Advisor, a New York-based publication that covers mergers and acquisitions. Typically, the private equity firms will handle financing the merger while ShelterLogic continues to focus on running as a company, he said.
Rodrigues said he did not know if RFE Investment Partners and Charter Oak Equity plan to acquire more companies under ShelterLogic.
While the purchase may create more revenue and market share for the private equity firms, there are still concerns related to integrating Arrow Sheds into ShelterLogic and distributing Arrow Sheds' products to customers, Aguinaldo said.
"You're still dealing with people," he said. "These are things you need to think and worry about."
ShelterLogic has 175 workers at its Watertown headquarters and plant and distribution centers in Lakewood, Wash., Branton, Canada, and Venlo, Netherlands, according to the company. It has another 475 workers at two factories it owns in China.
Its products range from Shed-In-a-Box utility sheds to Grow-It greenhouses to Garage-in-a-Box and AccelaFrame garages to pop-up canopies. It also makes a line of anchors for storage shelters and canopies as well as shade cloths and covered firewood racks, according to its website. Its prices range from $3.99 for a Shade Cloth Fabric Tie Wrap to $6,049 for a 100-foot-by-12-foot wind and snow-rated ShelterTube.
Arrow Sheds, founded in 1945, employs a total of 175 workers at its headquarters and factory in Breese, plant in Haskell, N.J., and distribution center in Fontana, Calif., according to ShelterLogic. It makes a number of galvanized steel sheds of various sizes, from a Eurolite Pent series of small sheds to a Commander series of larger commercial-grade sheds, its website shows. The company also makes Bulldog, Designer and Viking series of storage chests and galvanized floor-frame kits for sheds, as well as raised garden beds, patio covers and carports.
Its products are carried by several national retailers, including Home Depot, Wal-Mart, Lowes, Ace Hardware and Sears, according to its website. Its prices are set by retailers and vary by model, store and region. Since its founding in 1962 as Arrow Group Industries, the company has sold more than 13 million sheds worldwide through its retail partners, Arrow Sheds' website, www.arrowsheds.com, stated.
Rodrigues said ShelterLogic plans to keep all of Arrow Sheds' employees and locations. The company is reviewing whether to keep the Arrow Sheds name but has no immediate plans to change it, he said.
"Everything's pretty much staying where they are," he said. "We want to keep as many jobs in the U.S. as we can, and we're looking to expand in the marketplace."
Contact Paul Rodrigues at firstname.lastname@example.org