River Associates Acquires Yale Cordage

Chattanooga, TN, July 31, 2020

River Associates Investments, LP (“River Associates” or “River”), a longstanding lower-middle market private equity firm based in Chattanooga, TN, announced that it has partnered with management to acquire Yale Cordage, Inc. (“Yale Cordage” or “Yale”). This acquisition is River Associates’ 99th transaction.

Founded in 1950, Yale Cordage is a leading designer and manufacturer of high-performance synthetic rope and rope systems for critical, high cost-of-failure applications. Based in Saco, Maine, Yale Cordage has an additional manufacturing facility in North Carolina. Yale produces a wide range of specialty ropes for key industries such as: heavy lift, specialty industrial, utility, arborist, life safety, and oceanographic / marine. They utilize proprietary equipment and engineering ingenuity to design and manufacture synthetic rope and rope systems for hundreds of long-term customer relationships.

“It was important to me to find a partner who appreciates the product creativity and applications innovation that lies behind the strong reputation we maintain with our customers and in the markets we serve. River Associates impressed us with their transparency, their unwavering intent to partner with the management team, and their decades of experience investing in owner-led businesses. This gave us confidence that they would respect and preserve the Yale legacy and add great value through our partnership” said Tom Yale, CEO of Yale.

Bill Putnam, President of Yale added, “I look forward to a strong, growth-oriented relationship with River for years to come. We believe their broad experience will help us take Yale to the next level for the benefit of our employees, customers, and supplier partners.”

“Tom, Bill, and the rest of the Yale team immediately struck us as smart, ethical and hard working,” said Mike Brookshire, Managing Partner of River Associates. “We’ve found these character traits in the managers of all our best performing investments over the past 30+ years. Yale not only has an impressive history and respected name in the industry, but also tremendous potential for growth. We know that our partnership will be collaborative and steady in preserving the Yale legacy and respecting the team while also exploring a number of exciting growth avenues.”

River funded the transaction with equity from its seventh investment fund (River VII, L.P.). Mike Brookshire, Managing Partner, Craig Baker, Partner, and Stuart Vyule, Vice President, led the process for River Associates. Financing was provided by Northstar Capital and TD Bank. River Associates was advised by Waller Law. Yale Cordage was advised by Bigelow, LLC and Pierce Atwood, LLP.

Yale Cordage will seek add-on acquisitions of businesses that manufacture or supply similar or complementary products to the end markets referenced above. Please contact Mark Jones for additional information.