California water management company attracts funding from Central Valley Fund

CVF invested $5m of equity and mezzanine debt into Waterman Industries, a manufacturer of water control and irrigation equipment.

The California-based Central Valley Fund (CVF), a late-stage growth and buyout fund, has invested $5 million of equity and mezzanine debt in Waterman Industries.

Waterman is a San Joaquin Valley-based manufacturer of control gates, valves and vents for waste water treatment facilities and irrigation districts in the global market. The company manufactures more than 100 types of highly-engineered irrigation gates and slides for municipal water authorities and industrial users, according to the press release.

As the California drought still presents a threat to local agriculture economy, the State Water Resources Control Board started giving curtailment notices to junior water-right holders earlier this month in the San Joaquin River watershed, one of the worst-hit areas.

“With the support of CVF, Waterman Industries will accelerate its strategy of expanding its geographic footprint and inventory of mission-critical products and services through both organic growth and new products,” said Ken Mikesell, Waterman’s president in a statement. “Waterman has a demonstrated record of growth and we will continue to improve its position as a valued partner to our customers and vendors.”

Besides the water control and irrigation equipment, Waterman also manufactures a series of drainage gates for holding excess flood water as part of its specialty equipment.

“As a leading independent provider of industrial gates, valves, and fittings for water systems, Waterman has a strong reputation for technical expertise, customer service, and the broad product offerings required to serve a diverse set of end markets,” said Brad Triebsch, a partner at CVF, in a statement. Triebsch said Waterman’s growth record and strong management appear to be an attractive investment opportunity for CVF.

CVF has managed more than $175 million in capital commitments since 2005. It is focused on making investments in California’s Central Valley and throughout the US west.

According to CVF, the typical investment size per transaction is about $2 million to $10 million with extra commitment from co-investment with other funds. Although CVF does not seek control or take an active management role, it will act as a financial partner and strategic adviser.