SJE Inc. acquired by Audax Private Equity
LAKES DETROIT, MN – SJE, a leading manufacturer of control solutions for the water and wastewater industry, has sold a majority stake to Audax Private Equity (“Audax”). Audax’s investment comes as SJE aims for continued growth and expansion within the controls industry.
Founder Steve Johnston started SJ Electro Systems in 1975 after creating the original version of the Tank Alert alarm in his garage. In 1987 Steve decided he wanted to pass the business on to his employees by establishing an Employee Share Ownership Plan (“ESOP”), allowing employees to share in the successes they were helping to create.
“For a very successful employee-owned business, the time had come for us to transfer ownership to ensure the best performance for our employees,” said Dave Thomas, President and CEO of SJE. “We had a tremendous opportunity to make the ESOP retirement benefit an immediate reality for our team. Following Audax’s investment, we will continue to operate as we always have and will remain committed to our core values of unity, humility, agility, dynamism and ownership. “
Over the past 45 years, SJE has grown considerably, bringing a number of innovative products to the market. SJE currently has seven locations around the world and nearly 500 employees. In 2020, the year of the global pandemic, SJE had a record year in terms of sales and profitability.
“SJE is a tremendous achievement. From our humble beginnings, we have become a leader in our industry, ”continued Thomas.
“Study our history and you will see that our success stems from a culture that has always been the engine of growth. We now have the financial resources to make the capital improvements and acquisitions necessary to expand our position in the industry, ”Thomas concluded.
SJE will seek to benefit from the strategic and financial resources that Audax brings to the companies in its portfolio. These resources will help stimulate investment in the company, support the growth strategy and allow SJE to pursue its acquisitions.
“Audax supports strong leadership teams to build businesses. We are focused on buying and then building market leading companies that are ready for growth, ”said Ryan Bruehlmann, Managing Director of Audax Private Equity. “We see tremendous value in SJE’s teamwork culture, its commitment to its purpose and values, and its strong desire to succeed.
Learn more about SJE at www.sjeinc.com.