HOLLAND — Timothy Masek, former managing director of Chicago-based private equity group TMB Industries, has launched CODI LLC, a West Michigan private equity firm.
In his 15 years at TMB, Masek was involved in more than 30 acquisitions of under-performing companies. He managed six of the transactions himself, including three in the West Michigan area, beginning with the three-year restructuring of a dead-weight Borg Warner Inc. division into the now-profitable Fuel Systems LLC.
Fuel Systems brought Masek to West Michigan, where he served as chairman of the company until TMB sold the Grand Rapids truck component maker in January 2006. He also led the acquisitions of Grand Rapids’ Miller Products Inc. and a company outside of the TMB’s normal acquisition strategy, Grand Craft (see related story), a Holland-based company that builds high-end mahogany replicas of the classic Chris-Craft boats.
Prior to his West Michigan investments, Masek had avoided setting roots in the communities of the companies he ran, preferring to commute from Chicago. In 2003, he moved his family to East Grand Rapids.
Last year, under pressure from TMB to return to Chicago and a schedule of constant travel, Masek decided to leave the equity firm. He sold all his interests in TMB with the exception of Grand-Craft, which he purchased outright in December.
Now, Masek intends to leverage his experience as a turnaround specialist with his new company, CODI LLC, named for the first letters of the names of his four children.
“I didn’t want to keep traveling, but I did want to keep my focus on buying and running businesses,” said Masek. “I think West Michigan is a great place to do it. … It’s more difficult to be on the outside and do certain transactions, it’s easier to be here and know the people you’re going to be working with.”
CODI will target Michigan manufacturers ranging in size from $5 million to $150 million. Financing for the deals will come from banks and large investors, many of them local. The company is also working with local business brokers and law firms. For the time being, it will operate out of Grand-Craft’s Holland headquarters.