Spotlight on Portfolio Company – Auburn Gear, LLC
1) Describe the business that received financing, including information on the type of product or service it provides:
Auburn Gear, an FNBCP portfolio company, is a leading designer and manufacturer of custom engineered wheel drives, axle drive components, and specialty drives for mobile equipment. The Company is North America’s second largest manufacturer of planetary gearboxes, which transfer power and torque in mobile equipment. Auburn Gear focuses on higher margin, smaller production runs that require additional engineering support, customization expertise, modification capabilities, and short lead times.
2) Provide a brief summary of the business’ history, including information on the founders/managers and their original vision for the enterprise:
Auburn Gear was founded in 1938 as the Warner Gear Division of BorgWarner. BorgWarner decided to exit the gearbox industry in 1982 and sold the business to George Callas, a former executive at General Electric. For the next 10 to 15 years, the Company manufactured automotive differentials. Mr. Callas transitioned the business away from the automotive industry and into planetary gearboxes in the late 1990s.
3) Provide a brief update on the status of the business today:
The new ownership group has owned Auburn Gear since September 2014. Bob Tunno, one of FNBCP’s limited partners, had prior experience in the gear industry and volunteered to represent FNBCP’s position on the company’s board of directors. Mr. Tunno continues to add value and remain involved in strategic decision making. The Company has focused on new product development aimed at new industries and continuing to deliver value to its customer base through highly engineered solutions and lean manufacturing. FNBCP and the investor group continue to support management in their significant capital expenditure plans into new equipment, which is transforming Auburn Gear into a first-in-class domestic manufacturer.