CNY’s HealthWay sells booming family air purifier business to private equity group

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A family-owned air purification company that started in a small fishing village in central New York City has now caught the attention of Wall Street with a private equity fund.

Pulaski’s HealthWay family of brands have announced that they will sell their fast-growing business to AE Industrial Partners, a private equity firm specializing in buying successful family businesses.

Neither company has disclosed how much AE Industrial Partners will pay for a controlling stake in HealthWay.

Vinny Lobdell, the president of the company, told syracuse.com | The Post-Standard that he and his father, Vincent, will continue to operate and retain a minority share of its ownership.

AE Industrial Partners has agreed to maintain HealthWay’s entire workforce of more than 120 people in Pulaski in Oswego County and 350 people around the world, Vinny Lobdell said.

The private equity fund has also agreed to continue investing in HealthWay’s New York headquarters, where the company is building a 60,000 square foot expansion, Lobdell said.

“My father and I are very committed to ensuring that HealthWay continues to grow in central New York City,” said Lobdell. “We expect our business to double. “

He said AE Industrial Partners approached HealthWay about the deal after a nationwide search to acquire a US-based air quality company.

“With his 40 years of experience in the industry, Vince is a true leader in the field, and we are delighted to be working with him and his team to capitalize on the favorable winds in the industry,” said Kelly Romano, operational partner at AE Industrial Partners in a press release. declaration.

HealthWay’s has seen its revenues increase by more than 200% in the past year amid record demand for its products during the coronavirus pandemic, Lobdell said. He declined to disclose specific sales figures.

Since the start of the pandemic, HealthWay has grown its Pulaski workforce from 34 to more than 120 to keep up with the company’s air purifier orders.

The company manufactures medical grade air purifiers sold under three brands: HealthWay, Intellipure and Pure Wellness. HealthWay’s patented air purification systems filter the tiny particles of airborne mold, bacteria and viruses with an efficiency of 99.97%.

Lobdell said lab tests show the company’s equipment eliminates 99.99% of the H1N1 virus, which is smaller than the coronavirus that causes Covid-19.

In the past 18 months, HealthWay has sold more than 28,000 portable air purifiers to schools in Chicago and more than 100,000 units to schools in New York. Schools in Syracuse purchased 2,500 portable units.

The company’s air purification products range from portable one-room air purifiers to filtration systems for large commercial buildings. The systems sell for $ 500 to millions of dollars for large business units.

HealthWay’s fastest growth has been in its air purification systems for large commercial buildings, Lobdell said.

Customers include Marriott and Hilton hotels, Wegmans grocery stores, New York City Health and Hospital System, and Atlantic Health Systems in New Jersey.

Before the January 2020 pandemic, HealthWay had struggled. The company decided to lay off eight employees after the trade war between the United States and China resulted in a 25% tariff on parts imported by the company at its manufacturing facility in Pulaski.

AE Industrial Partners, based in Boca Raton, Florida, invests in aerospace, defense, space and power generation companies.

The private equity firm claims to have acquired more than 100 companies since 1998. The company has specialized in acquiring private businesses run by a family or the founder of a company for decades.

“Our intention is not to manage the day-to-day operations of our portfolio companies, but to help manage them better with a constant eye on value creation,” says AE Industrial Partners on its website.

HealthWay seems like a perfect fill for this model.

Lobdell’s father Vince started the business in the family’s hometown almost 40 years ago. He sold air purifiers to remove cigarette smoke from bars and restaurants.

As the business grew in success, the Lobdells decided to invest a portion of their profits in Pulaski.

The family helped revitalize the village by purchasing around 20 vacant or dilapidated buildings in Pulaski and renovating them for commercial, office and residential purposes.

The crown jewel of the family’s real estate is the historic Kallet Theater in Pulaski. The Lobdells renovated the 350-seat theater, transforming it into a multi-purpose building that hosts conferences, plays and concerts.

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