CenterOak Partners Sells SurfacePrep to Nautic Partners

CenterOak officials said the distributor tripled in size under its ownership.

SurfacePrep, Grand Rapids, Mich.
SurfacePrep, Grand Rapids, Mich.

DALLAS – CenterOak Partners LLC, a Dallas-based private equity firm, on Friday announced the sale of SurfacePrep, a leading global distributor of surface enhancement solutions, to Nautic Partners.

This marks the second exit for CenterOak in 2024 following the sale of CollisionRight in January. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

SurfacePrep, headquartered in Grand Rapids, Michigan, has a comprehensive product offering that primarily includes loose and coated abrasives, specialty ceramic materials and related spare parts and equipment. The company’s field sales professionals support more than 15,000 manufacturing customers through a network of over 35 distribution branches and more than 10 process development labs and production finishing centers. Customers operate across aerospace, medical, consumer, transportation and general industrial end markets, and most customers place an order at least once every quarter.

“During CenterOak’s investment, SurfacePrep tripled in size while expanding margins,” said Jason Sutherland, a managing partner of CenterOak. “Alongside management, we executed an investment thesis to consolidate firms specializing in the highly technical sale of surface enhancement solutions. Increased scale supported investments that made the company a more valuable partner to its vendors, a stronger resource for its customers and a better home for its employees.”

“CenterOak’s prior experience and success growing specialty distributors made them a valuable partner,” said Mike Currie, CEO of SurfacePrep. “Together, we converted 15 local brands to the single unified ‘SurfacePrep’ name operating under the ‘One SurfacePrep’ model, tripled our salesforce and broadened our service and product offerings. Our team look forwards to the next chapter of growth and expansion ahead.”

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