Frontenac Completes Sale of GNAP

Chicago, IL – November 1, 2018

Frontenac, a Chicago-based private equity firm, announced today that it has completed the sale of GNAP, a leading national distributor of industrial abrasive products, equipment, specialty ceramics and ancillary services to CenterOak Partners. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

GNAP was formed in 2005 through a merger between Grand Northern Products and Abrasive Products. Since Frontenac recapitalized GNAP with the owner operators in 2014, the Company has achieved strong organic growth and completed four acquisitions, making it the market leading specialty distributor of consumable abrasive products for surface enhancement and specialty ceramics applications. GNAP represents more than 550 global suppliers and serves over 5,000 customers.

Joe Rondinelli, Principal of Frontenac, said, “Our investment in GNAP is a great example of Frontenac’s CEO1ST investment approach. We successfully partnered with owner-operator founders, Mike Currie and Mike Trotta, who worked with two-time Frontenac CEO1ST Chairman Bob Grubbs. During our ownership, we enhanced the Company’s leadership team, invested in the successful implementation of numerous organic growth initiatives, and through acquisition expanded the Company’s product portfolio and geographic reach.”

“Frontenac has been instrumental in shaping the strategy and vision of GNAP, helping to strengthen our operations and team and providing meaningful support in the pursuit of organic and acquisition growth initiatives,” said Mike Currie, CEO of GNAP. “Our management team and associates are excited to build upon the success we’ve achieved with Frontenac and look forward to the next phase of growth alongside CenterOak Partners.”

Paul Carbery, Managing Partner of Frontenac, added, “GNAP is the fourth enterprise sale from our tenth investment fund and the fifth successful sale of an industrial distribution portfolio company in the last three years. We are pleased to have worked with the GNAP leadership team and see a bright future for the Company.”

BlackArch Partners acted as financial advisors to GNAP. Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP served as legal counsel to the Company.

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 consumer, 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 275 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

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Frontenac Company

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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