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June 3, 2010
Code Hennessy & Simmons LLC Announces Sale of Hillman Companies, Inc.

Code Hennessy & Simmons LLC ("CHS") announces the sale of Hillman Companies, Inc., a portfolio investment of Code Hennessy & Simmons IV LP, to Oak Hill Capital Partners. Hillman, headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, is a leading distributor of fasteners, key blanks, signage and other small hardware components and a leading manufacturer of key making equipment. The company operates in multiple channels of the retail marketplace including national and regional home centers, hardware stores and mass merchants.

CHS purchased Hillman in March 2004 and worked closely with the existing executives to expand the management team, complete two acquisitions and grow the company’s product lines and markets. The result of these efforts was a significant increase in Hillman’s revenues and EBITDA.

"We are extremely proud of our successful relationship with Hillman as they are truly market leaders in the sectors they serve," said Andy Code, Partner at CHS. "Rick and Mick Hillman lead an exceptional management team and workforce. The company is committed to strong financial performance and delivering quality products to a loyal customer base."

"The support of CHS was a critical component of our achievements and growth over the past six years," said Mick Hillman, CEO of Hillman. "Their understanding of the dynamics and details of our industry along with the ability to work with us in shaping our goals helped us increase the breadth and scope of our business and the bottom line."

Even in the current challenging environment, CHS has been successful selling two portfolio companies in 2010 with enviable returns to investors. Earlier this year, CHS announced the sale of Suture Express, Inc., a portfolio investment of CHS Private Equity V LP, to Diamond Castle Partners, a New York-based private equity firm.

"Our successful relationships with Hillman and Suture Express are a direct reflection of the CHS investment philosophy with our portfolio companies,” said Brian Simmons, Partner at CHS. “We work closely with management teams and directors to focus on business building, earnings growth and value creation. We roll up our sleeves and immerse ourselves in each of our companies to understand the industry, markets and opportunities for growth. We work together to develop strategies and tactics to achieve our shared goals. The strong performances of Hillman and Suture Express, even during the recent severe economic downturn, made this the right time to sell."

CHS is a Chicago-based private equity firm focused on investing in middle market companies in partnership with management. CHS targets well-managed companies focused on growth with enterprise values between $75 million and $1.0 billion. With particular expertise in the Consumer, Business & Consumer Services, Distribution, and Infrastructure & Industrial Products sectors, CHS has completed 74 platform investments and 223 add-on investments. Founded in 1988, CHS has formed five private equity funds and currently manages over $2.8 billion of capital. For additional information about CHS, please refer to the firm’s website at