SOURCE: The VenCom Group

August 27, 2007 10:04 ET

The VenCom Group Sells io Lighting to Cooper Industries for $16.65 Million

CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwire - August 27, 2007) - The VenCom Group, Inc., a Chicago-based private equity firm, announced today the sale of its portfolio company io Lighting to Cooper Industries, Ltd. Under the transaction, valued at $16.65 million, io Lighting will become part of the Cooper Lighting division of Cooper Industries.

io Lighting, based in Vernon Hills, Ill., designs and manufactures technically advanced, environmentally friendly light-emitting diode (LED) luminaries for the lighting design and architecture industries. The company has launched four LED product lines and earned numerous industry awards since its founding in 2002. The VenCom Group provided seed capital to io Lighting in 2003, and since then has used its majority stake to help build it from a start-up stage company to a leader in its field. In the past four years, the company has realized average annual growth in sales of more than 100 percent, and it projects sales for 2007 of $16 to $20 million.

Cooper Industries, Ltd. is a global manufacturer with 2006 revenues of $5.2 billion, approximately 85 percent of which are from electrical products. Its Peachtree City, Ga.-based Cooper Lighting division is an industry-leading manufacturer of high-quality, innovative lighting solutions for residential, retail, commercial and institutional customers.

"Our goal at VenCom is to work closely with our portfolio companies to help them grow into significant businesses capable of sustaining their success. We saw excellent potential in io Lighting early on, and we have been very pleased to see it take off the way it has," said James A. Otterbeck, CEO of io Lighting and founder and president of The VenCom Group. "The io team is comprised of very talented business executives, designers and technologists, and it is well positioned to continue expanding with Cooper Lighting."

The VenCom Group invests in start-up and lower middle-market companies with positive cash flow and attractive growth prospects. By providing needed capital resources and strategic business oversight, VenCom helps its portfolio companies expand their businesses and identify long-term growth opportunities that will propel them to the next stage in their evolution. The firm places a high value on strategic and financial flexibility and seeks out companies with strong management teams to drive growth after it deploys capital. Otterbeck, in addition to directing the placement and ongoing management of the firm's fund, is also the primary owner of The VenCom Group and its affiliates and plays an active role in all of its portfolio companies.

Among the VenCom Group's notable current investments are:

--  OnePoint Patient Care, a Tempe, Ariz.-based pharmacy services company
    serving residents, hospices, assisted-living facilities and long-term care
    patients in the Southwest. OnePoint filled 824,000 prescriptions in 2006, a
    26 percent increase in prescriptions from the previous year.
--  Classic Southern Development, a residential real estate company based
    in Naples, Fla.
--  Mercato Point, a commercial real estate developer based in Naples,

In addition to io Lighting, examples of other past investments The VenCom Group has successfully developed include:

--  OnePoint Communications Corp.: Otterbeck founded OnePoint
    Communications in Chicago in 1995 to provide bundled telecommunications and
    entertainment services to apartments and other multi-dwelling buildings. In
    2000, VenCom sold the company for $250 million to Verizon Communications,
    which renamed it Verizon Avenue.
--  Visual Properties LLC: VenCom sold this provider of online marketing
    services for apartment buildings to Classified Ventures LLC in 1997.
--  ODS Technologies: VenCom developed this provider of interactive horse-
    racing technology and sold it to United Video Satellite Group. It is now
    part of Gemstar-TV Guide International.

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Jessica Schnack for The VenCom Group, Inc.
    Ph (917) 855-4830
    Email Contact