- Artificial Turf Supply (ATS) is Blackford Capital’s second acquisition to the Patio Consolidation portfolio in less than 30-days
- Addition of ATS advances Blackford’s objective of creating a one stop shop for all outdoor living needs within the backyard consumer segment
GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan, November 30, 2022 – Blackford Capital (“Blackford”), a leading lower middle market private equity firm, announced today the acquisition of Carlsbad, California-based Artificial Turf Supply (ATS), a manufacturer, distributor and internet-based supplier of high-quality synthetic and artificial turf products with applications across residential, commercial playground, pet and athletics in both B2B and B2C segments in the United States.
The second addition to Blackford’s Patio Consolidation Portfolio (PCP) in less than 30 days, Artificial Turf Supply was founded in 2005 by David Barbera, who currently serves as president, founder and managing member. In addition to continuing in his role as president of ATS, Barbera will also assume a position as Operating Partner with Blackford Capital following the close of transaction.
“David and his team have built a strong and resilient business. It’s an honor to welcome him to the Blackford family as president of ATS and as the newest addition to our experienced team of Operating Partners,” said Martin Stein, founder and managing director of Blackford Capital. “With the addition of ATS to our family of backyard companies we are well positioned to accelerate the entire platform’s reach by optimizing ATS’ already impressive marketing prowess and distribution network. Very exciting times ahead.”
In addition to Barbera, all other long-standing members of Artificial Turf Supply’s dynamic leadership team will also retain their positions to optimize business continuity and synergies with the recently welcomed Starfire Direct and future platform companies.
“We are excited to work with Martin and the Blackford leadership team to further expand our reach within the growing artificial turf market,” said Barbera. “We share the same vision and passion for driving growth. Our partnership, supported by increased resources and an impressive and inspiring leadership team, will position us well to not only accelerate our growth, but also better serve our customers and, in turn, offer more attractive opportunities and benefits for our employees.”
According to a March 2022 report from Business Market Insights, the artificial turf market in North America is expected to grow to $862M by 2028. The integration of ATS into the Patio portfolio enhances the platform’s ability to accelerate growth and gain market share against competitors in every business segment by taking full advantage of new processes, new talent, and new sales channels. The company’s dynamic management team, digital marketing success, and effective distribution process make it a natural accelerator for equity growth and value creation.
Blackford Capital’s Patio Consolidation platform is envisioned to be an asset-light, multi-product, omni channel platform offering products within the home outdoor space. The addition of ATS to this platform is a continuation of Blackford’s multi-phase plan to consolidate several participants in this space and create a business that will deliver hyper-growth through significant synergies and create a competitive advantage over time. ATS joins Starfire Direct, acquired by Blackford in early November 2022, as foundational companies in this exciting platform.
Generational Equity served as exclusive financial advisor and Koley Jessen served as legal advisor to Artificial Turf Supply. Varnum LLP served as legal advisor and Plante Moran served as the financial and tax advisor to Blackford. Mercantile Bank of Michigan provided debt financing and Rush Street Capital provided financing advisory services in support of the transaction.
About Blackford Capital
Founded in 2010, Blackford Capital is a private equity investment firm headquartered in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Blackford acquires, manages, and builds founder and family-owned, lower middle-market companies, with a focus on the manufacturing, industrial and distribution industries. With a track record of exceptional returns, a disciplined and relentless approach to value creation, and a focus on operational excellence and a compelling culture, Blackford was named the Private Equity Firm of the Year by M&A Advisor in 2021 and 2018. Several of its portfolio companies have been included on the Inc. 5000. For more information, visit blackfordcapital.com.
About Artificial Turf Supply (ATS)
Founded in 2005, in Carlsbad, California, David Barbera has grown Artificial Turf Supply to be a leading manufacturer-direct, wholesale, artificial turf & synthetic turf supplier for residential, commercial, playground & athletic turf applications. For more information, visit artificialturfsupply.com.