Kirkpatrick & Company Announces Investment in Carstin Brands


BIRMINGHAM — Kirkpatrick & Company is pleased to announce its third investment over the past six months.  In partnership with the Pulte family of Birmingham, Michigan, Kirkpatrick & Company made an investment in Carstin Brands (Carstin), marking a significant investment in the building products industry.  The Carstin acquisition marks the continuation of a very active year for Kirkpatrick & Company, a merchant bank with a particular expertise in highly-regulated industries, that provides advisory services to wealthy families.  Kirkpatrick & Company is currently advising several companies looking to aggressively grow within industries experiencing significant change. 

Consistent with its previous investments, Kirkpatrick & Company has partnered with a wealthy family that has significant domain expertise to take advantage of investment opportunities in industries undergoing significant change and under heavy regulatory pressure.  Earlier this year, Kirkpatrick & Company made significant investments in the financial services industry, Shore Financial Services, and the education industry, GrupoLingua.

In August 2011, Kirkpatrick & Company and Pulte Capital Partners acquired Carstin Brands, an Illinois-based company and the largest supplier of kitchen countertops in the Midwest.  Kirkpatrick & Company advised Pulte Capital Partners (Pulte Capital), a private equity firm founded by Bill Pulte, grandson of Pulte Homes’ founder, in its first transaction in the building products industry, with both Kirkpatrick & Company and Pulte Capital making a significant equity investment.   

Carstin Brands is the largest supplier of kitchen countertops in the Midwest through its manufacturing of cultured marble and distribution and fabrication of solid surface (quartz) and granite materials.  Carstin services 13 states throughout the United States.  “Carstin’s strong performance through the economic downturn, combined with the potential growth opportunities that are available through our relationships, made it a compelling investment opportunity for us,” said Bill Pulte, managing partner of Pulte Capital. “Carstin’s focus on the repair and remodel sector of the building industry has limited its exposure to the fluctuations in new residential construction.”

In addition to advising the Pulte family on the creation of a private equity firm, Kirkpatrick & Company helped structure the Carstin transaction, arranged the financing structure and organized the board of directors.  Kirkpatrick & Company introduced and helped recruit Kurt Schiller, Carstin’s new Chief Executive Officer.  Mr. Schiller joins Carstin following fifteen years at Weyerhaeuser, where he ran various business units throughout the continental United States. 

“We could not have picked a better partner than Kip Kirkpatrick,” Pulte commented. “His knowledge of private equity and his ability to negotiate and structure, as well as his rolodex of contacts, is invaluable to us as we look to deploy our money into private equity.”

Carstin and Pulte Capital are actively looking at building products acquisitions.  If you know of anyone that might have acquisition ideas that fit Carstin or Pulte Capital, please contact Kip Kirkpatrick ( or Bill Pulte (  More information on Carstin can be found at its website

Additions to Kirkpatrick & Company Investment Team

Kirkpatrick & Company is excited to announce the additions of Mike Castleforte and Marlon Day to the team.  Mike Castleforte brings significant transactional experience to the Kirkpatrick & Company team, as he began his career in the corporate department at Winston & Strawn, LLP, where he represented public and private companies in a variety of mergers, acquisitions and divestitures.  Castleforte holds a J.D. from Columbia University and a B.A. from Duke University, where he was the captain of the Men’s Golf Team and the president of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee.  Castleforte is currently the president of the Ambassador’s Council to The First Tee of Chicago and sits on the board of directors of The First Tee of Chicago.  Marlon Day provides Kirkpatrick & Company with analytical support. Day holds a B.A. from Northwestern University, where he was a member of the Men’s Basketball Team.

About Kirkpatrick & Company

Kirkpatrick & Company is a middle-market merchant banking firm that advises wealthy families looking to invest in private equity. The company offers particular expertise in highly regulated industries. Its holdings include companies in the financial services, education, building products and communications industries. In each partnership, Kirkpatrick & Company looks to help middle-market companies achieve their growth objectives by utilizing its experience in both the private and public sectors.