I&I Sling is a manufacturer of custom lifting slings, a supplier of rigging hardware and hoists and a provider of testing, engineering, repair and inspection services, while Slingmax is a supplier of advanced, high-performance synthetic slings and multi-part wire rope slings through 37 independent companies in 12 countries, each of which are exclusively licensed, trained and certified to manufacture, repair and test Slingmax products.

The two companies will continue to operate autonomously with Scott St. Germain continuing to serve as their chief executive officer, and will remain based in Aston, PA, with its combined teams spread out across seven eastern US states in eight locations with major operations being in Maine, Pennsylvania and North Carolina.

River Associates believes the companies will be a good fit with its Yale Cordage asset, which it acquired in 2020. Yale Cordage, which is based in Saco, ME, and has an additional manufacturing plant in Salisbury, NC, is a designer and manufacturer of high-performance synthetic rope and rope systems for critical, high cost-of-failure applications through its network of distributors and resellers both in all 50 states and multiple international markets and will not experience any major changes due to River Associates’ I&I/ Slingmax acquisition, other than being in a growth phase with a host of new opportunities, Nino M. Granatiero, its chief executive officer, said, “Making this an exciting time as we approach our 75th year.”

As far as I&I/Slingmax, St. Germain said that joining forces with Yale Cordage expands its breadth of synthetic rope and roundsling products and capabilities and that I&I’s customers and Slingmax’s dealers should benefit from the merger.

“It is a win-win for our combined employee force as well,” he said, stating that he believes that with the synergy of Yale Cordage working alongside I&I/Slingmax there’s no limit to what the combined companies can accomplish together.

Speaking in the months since the deal, John McDermott, director of marketing and communications for Yale Cordage, said that this new business combination strengthens both Yale Cordage’s and Slingmax’s engineering efforts, accelerating new product development to improve its current line of rigging and synthetic rope solutions, which he said have enhanced customer safety and improved job site efficiencies for decades across the globe.

Also, as part of this joining of forces, the Yale Heavy List slings will become part of the Slingmax product family.

He added that there will be new product extension “coming soon” from the Slingmax team “that we are excited about” and that “the end-user customers for both the Yale Cordage and the I&I Sling/Slingmax brands are delighted by improved lead times and access to more lifting products from each”.

“The future for Yale Cordage, Slingmax and I&I Sling is off to a great start in just our first 100 days!” McDermott said.

Further growth is expected with River Associates and the management teams at I&I/ Slingmax and Yale Cordage continuing to seek additional add-on acquisitions, including of businesses that manufacture or supply similar or complementary products for the end markets that they currently serve.

Focusing upon the lower middle market, River Associates said that it has initiated more than 100 transactions – many of which have been strategic add-on acquisitions to platform companies – since its founding in 1989. It targets US and Canadian companies typically with EBITDA in the $3m to $15m range.