CenterOak sells SurfacePrep to Nautic Partners

CenterOak Partners LLC, a Dallas-based private equity firm, has sold SurfacePrep, a global distributor of surface enhancement solutions, to Nautic Partners, a middle-market private equity firm. This is the second exit for CenterOak in 2024, after selling CollisionRight, a regional auto body repair provider, in January.

SurfacePrep, based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, offers a wide range of products for surface finishing, such as abrasives, ceramics, and equipment. The company serves more than 15,000 customers in various industries, including aerospace, medical, consumer, and transportation, through its network of over 35 branches and more than 10 labs and centers.

The terms of the deal were not disclosed, but CenterOak said it was pleased with the outcome and thanked the management team and employees of SurfacePrep for their partnership and dedication.

“During CenterOak’s investment, SurfacePrep tripled in size while expanding margins,” said Jason Sutherland, a Managing Partner of CenterOak. “Alongside management, we executed an investment thesis to consolidate firms specializing in the highly technical sale of surface enhancement solutions. Increased scale supported investments that made the Company a more valuable partner to its vendors, a stronger resource for its customers and a better home for its employees.”

“CenterOak’s prior experience and success growing specialty distributors made them a valuable partner,” said Mike Currie, CEO of SurfacePrep. “Together, we converted 15 local brands to the single unified ‘SurfacePrep’ name operating under the ‘One SurfacePrep’ model, tripled our salesforce and broadened our service and product offerings. Our team look forwards to the next chapter of growth and expansion ahead.”

KeyBanc served as the exclusive financial advisor to SurfacePrep in connection with the transaction. Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP served as legal counsel to the Company.

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