December 9, 2020

The Baird Business Owner Solutions team is pleased to announce that it advised ERL Commercial Marine and its subsidiary Law Valve of Texas (collectively “ERL” or “the Company”) on their acquisition by Cleveland-based private equity firm CapitalWorks. The transaction was structured as a majority recapitalization, providing liquidity to the Company founder, Dr. Larry Wilkins, as he fully retires and ERL’s minority Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP). The BOS team worked closely with ERL President Stephen Wilkins and management to find the right partner for ERL’s owners, employees and customers. The existing management team will continue to lead ERL going forward.

“CapitalWorks is the ideal partner for our next chapter of growth,” Wilkins said, “due to its track record of growing family owned businesses and its industrial orientation, midwestern values and alignment around our strategy for growth.”

Headquartered in New Albany, Indiana, ERL is a diversified manufacturer and repair service provider, producing equipment for inland and blue water barges as well as railroad cars. Its broad product line includes pumps, valves, overfill protection, cargo gauging, and other marine products. ERL’s commitment to product innovation and customer service has allowed it to firmly establish itself as a leading value-added solutions provider to the inland marine market.


Business Owner Solutions utilizes a full-service model that brings the resources and experience generally available to larger companies to our “Main Street” clients. Our team's breadth and depth of experience enables us to deliver superior results to private companies. Our senior professionals are focused on advising emerging growth and lower middle-market companies in mergers and acquisitions, value and marketability assessment, and transition planning.