Holland’s JR Automation Acquired by Japan’s Hitachi for $1.4B

Crestview Partners, a New York-based private equity firm focused on the middle market, Tuesday announced Japan’s Hitachi Ltd. will acquire JR Automation, a Holland, Mich.-based provider of intelligent automated manufacturing and distribution technology solutions, for $1.4 billion.
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JR Automation
JR Automation in Holland has been acquired by Japan’s Hitachi Ltd. // Photo courtesy of JR Automation

Crestview Partners, a New York-based private equity firm focused on the middle market, Tuesday announced Japan’s Hitachi Ltd. will acquire JR Automation, a Holland, Mich.-based provider of intelligent automated manufacturing and distribution technology solutions, for $1.4 billion.

“The team at Crestview is incredibly proud of the dramatic growth and transformation of JR resulting from our successful partnership with the JR team,” says Alex Rose, partner and co-head of industrials at Crestview.

“We want to thank outgoing Chairman Mike DuBose and CEO Bryan Jones as well as the rest of JR’s employees for their hard work and dedication. Since our investment in JR in 2015, the company has grown dramatically from $170 million of sales and five production facilities in North America to $600+ million of sales and 23 facilities worldwide.”

JR serves customers in the aerospace, automotive, e-commerce, and life sciences industries. It has more than 2,000 employees, 80 percent of which work in technical capacities.

“It has been a privilege to work with the very talented teams from JR and Crestview,” says DuBose. “Over the past four years, we have built on JR’s strong entrepreneurial passion for custom automated solutions and put in place systems and processes that have allowed the company to rapidly scale around the world.

JR has become the largest independent provider of custom automation systems in North America while simultaneously increasing revenue generated internationally to approximately 25 percent of the company. With the global resources of Hitachi continuing to support the JR Automation team, JR will be able to continue on its phenomenal growth trajectory.”

The transaction is expected to close in the second half of 2019.

Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC and BofA Merrill Lynch acted as financial advisers, and Gibson, Dunn and Crutcher LLP acted as legal adviser to JR and the selling shareholders. Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities acted as a financial adviser, and Allen and Overy LLP acted as legal advisor to Hitachi.

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