published Friday, May 30th, 2014

Chattanooga-based PlayCore sold

Tyler Smith, 4, far left, watches her classmates from Kandy Kastle Second Generation child-care center play on a honey-comb-shaped jungle gym at a bee-themed "play pocket" on the PlayCore Play Trail playground. 
Staff File Photo
Tyler Smith, 4, far left, watches her classmates from Kandy Kastle Second Generation child-care center play on a honey-comb-shaped jungle gym at a bee-themed "play pocket" on the PlayCore Play Trail playground. Staff File Photo
  • photo
    Bob Farnsworth is president and CEO of Playcore
    Photo by Jeff Guenther

Chattanooga-based playground equipment maker PlayCore has been acquired by Sentinel Capital Partners, a private equity firm focusing on middle market investments, the companies announced today.

PlayCore, which employs 110 people in Chattanooga and has manufacturing facilities in Fort Payne, Ala., was previously held by Irving Place Capital. The purchase price wasn’t disclosed.

PlayCore President and CEO Bob Farnsworth said the company has been fortunate to work with Irving Place Capital for the last 7 and a half years.

“They have certainly supported the company’s organic growth and acquisition strategy and have been instrumental in supporting the success of the company,” he said in a statement. “We are now very pleased to partner with Sentinel Capital Partners as we take PlayCore to the next stage of growth.

Eric Bommer, a Sentinel partner, said PlayCore is an innovative leader and possesses a strong portfolio of leading brands in the playground and recreation market.

“We are very excited to partner with PlayCore’s management team and support the continued growth of this great business,” he said.

Under IPC’s ownership, PlayCore executed on a strategic plan to drive growth both organically and through acquisitions. PlayCore completed nine strategic acquisitions, strengthening the company’s brand portfolio and enhancing its product offering, entering new end markets, and expanding its reach to a broader customer base.

See more in Saturday’s Times Free Press.

about Mike Pare...

Mike Pare, the deputy Business editor at the Chattanooga Times Free Press, has worked at the paper for 27 years. In addition to editing, Mike also writes Business stories and covers Volkswagen, economic development and manufacturing in Chattanooga and the surrounding area. In the past he also has covered higher education. Mike, a native of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., received a bachelor’s degree in communications from Florida Atlantic University. he worked at the Rome News-Tribune before ...

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