Frontenac Completes Recapitalization of GNAP, LLC, a Leading Specialty Abrasives Distributor

Chicago, IL – January 7, 2015

Frontenac Company LLC, a Chicago-based private equity firm focused on investing in lower middle market, family held or owner operated businesses, today announced that it has completed the majority recapitalization of GNAP, LLC, a leading specialty abrasives distributor. This is Frontenac’s fourth investment from its tenth investment fund, which closed in 2014. Financial terms of the private transaction were not disclosed.

Headquartered in Grand Rapids, MI, GNAP is a leading, national distributor of industrial abrasive products, equipment, specialty ceramics and ancillary services used by a broad base of customers in the applications of investment casting, metal stamping, machining, forging, remediation, coating and paving. The company’s comprehensive product offering primarily includes blasting media, tumbling media, coated abrasives, specialty ceramic materials, chemicals, metallurgical additives, abrasive equipment, and repair replacement parts. GNAP sources products globally and distributes from over 20 locations across the United States.

“Our partnership with Frontenac Company will give GNAP the additional financial and operating resources to continue to help us continue to grow our business, and expand what my partner Mike Trotta and I have established,” said GNAP Chief Executive Officer, Mike Currie. “We have found the right partner in Frontenac, which has a history of providing solutions to founder-owned businesses, a strategy of working with seasoned executives, and a track record of successfully growing enterprises like ours.”

“With its high quality products and full range of support services, GNAP is a clear leader within its industry, and the investment represents a promising platform for future growth,” said Paul Carbery, a Managing Partner at Frontenac Company. “We look forward to working with Mike Currie, Mike Trotta and the leadership team to deliver enhanced value added products to existing customers and to expand distribution.”

As part of the recapitalization, veteran industrial and distribution executives, Bob Grubbs and Al Swanson have joined the Board of Directors of GNAP. Mr. Grubbs is the former Chief Executive Officer of Anixter International, a leading global supplier of communications and security products. He served as CEO for 14 years before retiring in 2008, and he remains a member of Anixter’s Board of Directors. Mr. Swanson formerly held various executive positions at US Foods, Inc, including Chief Financial Officer and Director. He currently serves as Director at Great North Imports, LLC, Next Day Gourmet, L.P., Trans-Porte, Inc. and E & H Distributing, LLC.

Based in Chicago and founded in 1971, Frontenac Company is a middle-market private equity firm with a long and successful history as the first professional owners of privately held, family and operator-owned businesses. All other Fund X investments are also founder-owned, and include Portfolio Group, a leading provider of financial services to automobile dealerships; Ohio Transmission Corporation, a leading distributor of industrial equipment and provider of related repair services; and Cloud Star, a producer of natural and wholesome pet products. Frontenac has made over 225 founder-owner investments across nine private equity funds. Since 2000, Frontenac has completed over 25 buyout transactions, and nearly 60 add-on acquisitions.

Wells Fargo Securities, LLC acted as financial advisor to the company, and Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP served as legal counsel to Frontenac Company.

About GNAP, LLC

Headquartered in Grand Rapids, MI, GNAP is a leading, national distributor of industrial abrasive products, equipment, specialty ceramics and ancillary services used by a broad base of customers. The company’s comprehensive product offering primarily includes blasting media, tumbling media, coated abrasives, specialty ceramic materials, chemicals, metallurgical additives, abrasive equipment, and repair replacement parts. GNAP sources products globally and distributes from over 20 locations across the United States. For more information, please visit www.grandnorthern.com.

About Frontenac

Frontenac is a leading private equity firm, based in Chicago. The firm focuses on investing in lower middle market buyout transactions in the food, industrial, and services industries. Frontenac works in partnership with proven operating leaders, through our executive-centric approach called CEO1ST, to identify, acquire, and build market leading companies through transformational acquisitions and operational excellence. The firm has built a leading franchise working with over 225 owners of mid-sized businesses, almost always families or founders, as they address complex transition issues of liquidity, management enhancement, and growth planning. For more information, please visit www.frontenac.com.

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We invest in high quality companies, primarily in the food, industrial and services industries. We work with business owners, almost always families, founders or entrepreneurs, as they address complex transition issues of liquidity, management enhancement and growth planning.

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