York-based Cyclonaire Corp. received a financial shot in the arm with the announcement Tuesday of a significant private equity investment from Chicago-area Prospect Partners and Schilling Ventures LLC.
The investment accompanied the retirement of company founder and CEO Don Baker on Dec. 12. It gives Prospect Partners and Schilling Ventures a majority stake in Cyclonaire, which designs and manufactures pneumatic conveyors that use air pressure to move dry materials, including food, concrete and sand.
Jerry Elfring, president of the 40-year-old company, said the company and its employees will remain in York as part of Baker’s conditions of the transaction.
“He had criteria that the company remain in York and that its employees stay in place along with the present management team,” Elfring said.
Maneesh Chawla, a principal at Prospect Partners, described Cyclonaire as a market leader in the pneumatic conveying industry and said it has “significant continued growth potential.” Advantages of pneumatic conveyors over belt conveyors or bucket elevators include its relative ease of automation and the ability to navigate around obstacles, Elfring said.
Company officials declined to provide the amount of the investment but said it will enable Cyclonaire to grow through acquisitions of related companies.
Cyclonaire soon will move employees into a $2.5 million, 23,000-square-foot addition that company officials announced in April 2013.