The Sterling Group Completes the Sale of Universal Fiber Systems to HIG

October 2, 2015

The Sterling Group, a private equity firm based in Houston, Texas, announced that it has completed the sale of Universal Fiber Systems (“UFS”) to funds managed by HIG. ​Headquartered in Bristol, Virginia, UFS is a leading manufacturer of high-performance, specialty synthetic fibers for niche segments of the commercial carpet, transportation carpet and specialty apparel industries. During Sterling’s ownership, EBITDA has grown by over 70% based on a series of strategic and operational initiatives focused on market share growth, international expansion and cost savings and other margin improvement programs. This growth was accomplished in the face of a difficult market environment for nearly half of the company’s business serving commercial construction customers.

“Sterling was fortunate to partner with such a strong management team, led by CEO Marc Ammen, to drive substantial EBITDA growth in the face of significant headwinds in UFS’ commercial construction end market,” said Kent Wallace, Partner at The Sterling Group. “The team’s tireless execution on a set of strategic and operational initiatives resulted in strong performance in a difficult environment.”

“Sterling’s support was instrumental in achieving new levels of profitability at our company,” said Marc Ammen, CEO. “We look forward to partnering with HIG to continue to grow the business and serve our loyal customers.”

Sterling focuses on implementing its operational investment strategy to fundamentally grow and improve North American based industrial businesses. The Sterling Group was advised on the sale by Baird and Bracewell & Guiliani.


Founded in 1982, The Sterling Group is a private equity investment firm that targets controlling interests in basic manufacturing, distribution and industrial services companies. Typical enterprise values of these companies range from $100 million to $500 million. Sterling has sponsored the buyout of 46 platform companies and numerous add-on acquisitions for a total transaction value of over $10.0 billion. Currently, Sterling has over $2.4 billion of assets under management. Current portfolio companies include CST Industries, Universal Fiber Systems, Express, Saxco International, Dexter Axle, Safe Fleet, Specified Air Solutions, American Bath Group and ProcessBarron.


The Sterling Group, L.P.
Franny Jones
(713) 341-5756