High Road Capital, a private equity firm, has purchased General Tools & Instruments. General Tools, founded in 1922, manufacturers a wide range of hand tools, accessories, and measuring instruments.
According to press materials:
Joe Ennis, Chief Executive Officer of General Tools & Instruments, said, “General remains focused on providing its customers with feature-rich, value-oriented specialty hand tools and test instruments. We look forward to working with High Road and continuing the company’s successful expansion.” Mr. Ennis will continue to lead the company post-closing. He and the other members of General’s management team invested in the transaction alongside High Road.
It remains to be seen what kind of changes the acquisition will bring.
General Tools is not the only tool manufacturer to fall under the ownership of an equity firm. As discussed in our guide to tool brands and corporate affiliations, Jet, Wilton, Powermatic, and all of the brands in the Apex Tool Group portfolio, including well-known brands such as Armstrong, Crescent, Gearwrench, and Weller, are also owned by private equity firms.
Considering most if not likely all General Tools aren’t American made anymore and haven’t been in a while I can’t see this making the brand any worse or any better in my opinion.
Interesting to know this information, but the good ole days of General Tools has been over for a long time.
But since High Road seems to be similar to Bain Capital so if there are were any General Tools that might be still USA made, I strongly doubt that will be the case much longer.
Rather have American made products myself. American jobs
I would sooner buy tools made in a freedom living country like the USA, Canada, the UK or any other free market country. I would like to avoid an authoritarian country like China.
No venture capital firm has ever improved by any measure (except striping the acquirede firms assets and then surefire awful fire sale down the road five years) has ever enhanced the actual products made. Regardless of where made. It’s not their mission. Not at all.
And as for “management” being involved is poppycock. It was either that or be even more rapidly jettisoned. Without even a semblance of a golden parachute.
Ain’t Wall Street grand?
Thanks for letting us know. Sad to see more once proud USA tool companies being sold.
Seems companies have jumped on the Cheap China Bandwagon. I bought a set of General needle files last year, lousiest files I ever saw. A cheap nail file would be better! I can remember when all needle files were Swiss! And 1,000 times better!