Diagnostic Imaging


Pine Mountain



Case Study - Pine Mountain

In 2004, AGI worked jointly with its Spanish affiliate, Axel Urquijo,  in representing a Northern European company attempting to buy a business called Pine Mountain that was owned by the Chandaria family, one of North America’s most important and influential families.  Pine Mountain is the market leader in artificial firelog sales in North America with revenue of over $100 million.  During the process, the family decided that it wished to retain the business and develop it further.

Over the following 18 months, the Chandaria family was approached by several private equity houses and industrial buyers interested in purchasing several of their businesses including Pine Mountain.  The family wanted a clear understanding of its strategic alternatives so, in late 2005, the family appointed AGI/AU to assess those alternatives for several of its businesses including Pine Mountain. 

Together with AU, AGI assessed the family businesses, discussed the alternatives for each one and reviewed opportunities to make investments in fledgling businesses.  AGI/AU recognised that the family’s strengths were buying and building small businesses into robust and more mature businesses.  With this in mind, AGI/AU recommended the family seek liquidity for the businesses that could be taken to the next stage of development into larger entities.  At the same time, AGI/AU began to show the family a series of smaller businesses that could be suitable for investment. 

During 2006, AGI/AU and the family agreed that the Pine Mountain businesses would be better off in the hands of a larger enterprise and carried out a very narrow and selective auction of the businesses to a handful of leading private equity houses.  In that process, several strategic buyers approached AGI/AU and the family elected to pursue serious discussions with Jarden Corporation.  The entrepreneurial flare of Jarden’s CEO and his ideas about what he could do with the Pine Mountain business excited the family. 

On September 5 2006, Jarden announced that it had acquired Pine Mountain.  The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.  However, in addition to the cash purchase price, a contingent purchase price payment based on the future financial performance of the business was agreed.  Dhiren Chandaria, Chairman of the Conros firelog division commented; "We are proud of the business our family has built in the firelog category over the last 20 years and believe that Jarden is the right company to take the business to the next level.  Jarden's expertise in growing market leading brands and access to capital will build upon the success we were able to achieve as a private company.  Whilst we focus our entrepreneurial resources on our LePage business with its strategic relationship with the United States Postal Service, we look forward to our continued active involvement with Jarden in the firelog and firestarter market."


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