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Vermont Castings Parent Company  To Be Sold

Bethel — The private-equity group that owns Vermont Castings announced last week that a letter of intent had been signed to sell the parent company to another investment group.

Vermont Castings has manufacturing and distribution facilities in Randolph and Bethel with approximately 200 employees working at both plants. It is part of the Vermont Castings Group based in Paris, Ky.

No details of the transaction, the fate of Vermont Castings or the name of the buyer were disclosed in a succinct news release issued Wednesday.

“The sale is expected to close within 45 to 60 days, at which time the buyer will be named,” the release said.

In a statement emailed to the Valley News on Friday, Dan Clifford, president and chief executive officer of Vermont Castings Group, said changes were not anticipated to be made in the Vermont Castings operations in the Upper Valley.

“Our hope is that it will remain business as usual in Vermont and throughout the Vermont Castings Group. We have an enviable portfolio of brands and products, a solid team and a strong growth strategy, and this additional investment from a financial buyer will help us to continue to grow our company.”

The private equity group, The Riverside Co., acquired Vermont Castings in 2008 and merged it with Monessen Hearth Systems Co., a Kentucky-based firm that the group took over in 2006. In January, Riverside changed the name of the company from Monessen to Vermont Castings Group. The equity group announced in February that it “had elected to exit its investment” in the company. Typically, private equity groups attempt to receive a return on investments in five to 10 years, experts say.

In addition to wood stoves and grills, the Vermont Castings Group also manufactures Majestic fireplaces and inserts as well as other related products.

The Riverside Co. is one of the largest and oldest global private equity firms investing in companies with enterprise values of less than $250 million, according to its website.

The company has more than $3.5 billion in assets under management and has made more than 300 acquisitions during its 25 years in business. It also has 200 employees with worldwide offices.

“We nurture companies with the goal of building them into more effective enterprises through time-tested management techniques, organic growth and add-on acquisitions,” the website says.