The Roberts Co., a major industrial fabricator in the Southeast and one of this year's FAB 40 companies (to be published in our June issue), probably wouldn't be the company it is today without Private Equity. Since Main Street Resources purchased the company in 2008, just months before the financial crash, Roberts Co. has benefited from some major personnel investment, including a swath of new senior managers. They're not outsiders, but experienced fabricators. They know the chess game involved when executing a major industrial project. All the right pieces—engineering, fabrication, field erection,and maintenance services—must be moved to the right place at the right time.
According to company sources, the private equity firm gets high-mix, low-volume manufacturing. In Roberts' case, the company is benefiting from major company investments, including a new, 90,000-square-foot fabrication facility that opened late last year. The company prepared for the upswing during the downturn, and Roberts' current growth projections are evidence that the gutsy strategy worked.