Vance Street Capital acquires R.S.T Instruments from HKW

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By Ted Liu

Vance Street Capital LLC has acquired Maple Ridge, BC based R.S.T. Instruments Ltd., a leading provider of complex geotechnical instrumentation and data systems, from Hammond, Kennedy, Whitney & Company, Inc. (HKW)

The transaction closed on August 31, 2017. RST management team will retain a material ownership stake in the business. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Vance Street Capital partnered with Lexington Partners and funds advised by Neuberger Berman Private Equity, which co-invested equity alongside Vance Street in support of the transaction. Debt financing for the transaction was provided by BMO Capital Partners’ Sponsor Coverage.

Indianapolis based HKW acquired R.S.T. Instruments Ltd. on on July 31, 2014.

Vance Street Capital is a Los Angeles, California based private equity firm which invests in middle-market businesses in the medical, aerospace, defense and industrial sectors.

Founded in 1977, RST designs and manufactures highly-engineered geotechnical instrumentation and data systems for applications where structural integrity must be assured. End use applications for RST’s products include critical structures such as bridges, hydroelectric dams, mines, railroads, airports, tailings dams, tunnels and highways.

RST’s products monitor, measure, log and transmit readings of geotechnical properties such as inclination, pressure, displacement and temperature so that customers can manage risks, increase productivity and reduce costs.

“We look forward to partnering with Vance Street to further expand our global presence and continue to enhance the breadth of product solutions we provide to our customers,” said Bruce Ripley, CEO of RST Instruments. “Vance Street’s experience building precision manufacturing businesses through organic product innovation and sales channel management as well as strategic add-on acquisitions aligns well with our long-term growth objectives.”

“RST Instruments encompasses all of the traits we look for in highly-engineered manufacturing businesses. RST is a best in class provider in a fragmented niche market, it has a strong management team with a proven track record of consistent growth and product innovation, and is well positioned in an industry with strong tailwinds. We are excited to partner with RST’s excellent management team and to further the business’ position as the premier global provider of geotechnical instrumentation through organic growth and acquisitions,” said Brian Martin, Partner at Vance Street Capital.

O’Melveny & Myers LLP acted as legal advisor to Vance Street Capital. Quarton International and Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP served as financial and legal advisors, respectively, to RST.

photo credit: R.S.T. Instruments