Innophos Acquired for Nearly $1 Billion by Private Equity

Innophos, a Cranbury-based company that manufactures ingredients for everything from cupcakes to concrete, has been acquired by a private equity firm for nearly $1 billion. The acquisition by One Rock Capital Partners is expected to close in the first quarter of 2020 pending board and regulatory approvals.

One Rock will acquire all of Innophos’ outstanding shares for $32 per share in cash in a transaction. The transaction has been unanimously approved by Innophos’ board of directors.

“After careful consideration and a thorough review of our strategic alternatives, including an outreach program to multiple potential financial and strategic partners over several months, the board determined that a sale to One Rock is in the best interest of all of our stakeholders,” said Innophos CEO Kim Ann Mink.

“We remain confident that our transformational strategy is the right path forward for Innophos; however, executing on this strategy in an increasingly volatile macroeconomic and complex financial environment as a small-cap public company remains challenging and could take longer than initially expected. While we believe our long-term goals are achievable, we believe that the offer from One Rock is in the best interest of our stockholders as it will deliver immediate and certain value. We believe this transaction represents a winning proposition for all of our stakeholders, including our employees and customers.”

“Innophos’ innovative ingredient solutions are used by world-leading brands across a wide range of attractive food, health, nutrition and industrial markets,” said Tony W. Lee, managing partner of One Rock. “The company has a strong foundation and a transformative growth strategy. In drawing upon One Rock’s extensive experience, part of our goal is to maximize Innophos’ growth potential by continuing to expand its presence in high-growth food, health, and nutrition markets, while further strengthening and optimizing its cash-generative core business.”

Innophos is a maker of “essential ingredients” that are used in processed foods, industrial applications, and health products.

Upon the completion of the transaction, Innophos will become a privately held company and shares of Innophos’ common stock will no longer be listed on any public market.

Stockholders had apparently hoped for a better deal than the one One Rock offered, as shares declined 9 percent after the deal was announced, although still trading higher than the $32 per share offered in the transaction. The company announced there would be a 30-day period to seek better offers before finalizing the transaction with One Rock.

Innophos Holdings Inc. (IPHS), 259 Prospect Plains Road, Building G, Box 8000, Cranbury 08512. 609-495-2495. Kim Ann Mink, CEO. www.innophos.com.

Repairs, Upgrades for NJ Transit Stations

Construction work is beginning this fall at four train stations: New Brunswick, Trenton Transit Center, Princeton Junction, and Elizabeth. Amtrak is paying for the work.

“A modern, safe, and reliable mass transit system is the foundation our state needs to grow our economy and reclaim our historic role as the state of innovation,” said Governor Phil Murphy. “The most forward-thinking organizations want to locate where both infrastructure and accessibility to capital markets and consumers are strong. These improvements … can help propel New Jersey to the top of any business leader’s list. The growing collaboration between Amtrak and NJ Transit is a win-win for our commuters and our economic future.”

“Before I joined NJ Transit in February, 2018, NJ Transit’s relationship with Amtrak was fractured, to say the least. I’m pleased to report that today our partnership with Amtrak is stronger than ever,” said NJ Transit President and CEO Kevin Corbett.

The work is set to take place throughout fall 2019 and early 2020. New Brunswick Station will see improvements to the elevator system; an extension of the eastbound platform for extra boarding capacity; significant rehabilitation of the station’s exterior brick facade; installation of new lighting, windows, HVAC system, and escalator; and a paint refresh.

Trenton Transit Center will see the replacement of damaged timber boards that are located past the yellow warning strip on the platform to improve customer safety.

Princeton Junction Station is in for general platform repairs to improve customer safety, including the refresh of platforms that have deteriorated for decades from exposure to weather and de-icing agents. This includes reinforcing the platform supports, patching concrete, repainting the yellow warning strip, and general repair of the stairs and handrails.

Company Gets Grant to Develop Camera for Artillery Shells

Princeton Infrared Technologies, 9 Deer Park Drive, Suite J-5, Monmouth Junction 08852. 609-917-3380. Martin H. Ettenberg, CEO. www.princetonirtech.com.

Princeton Infrared Technologies, a company that specializes in imaging technology and infrared cameras, has received a nearly $1 million Small Business Innovation Research award from the government. The Phase II SBIR contract with the Army at Picatinny Arsenal will fund the development of a small, cheap infrared camera for precision-guided gun launched munitions based on successful technology demonstrations in Phase I.

The goal is to develop a small, low power, lightweight seeker for the precise engagement of targets during daytime, nighttime, and poor environmental conditions. This camera will enable the user to image and track laser designators and pointers deployed on the battlefield.

The $999,982, two-year project will develop a gun-hardened small camera with the processing capabilities and frame rates to meet the imaging requirements of tracking targets on board of a small high speed gun or mortar launched projectile.

“The advantages of InGaAs SWIR [Indium Gallium Arsenide Shortwave Infrared] imagers are their ability to image at long range through atmospheric obscurants better than visible cameras without a requirement for cooling,” said Martin H. Ettenberg, president of Princeton Infrared Technologies. “They support very high frame rates for negating the effects of image blur in very fast moving munitions.”

Utility Trade Fair October 28

The New Jersey Utilities Association (NJUA), the statewide trade association for the investor-owned utilities, and its 14 member companies recognized the third week in October as New Jersey Careers in Utilities Week.

In an effort to promote the various career opportunities that exist in the utility industry, NJUA is hosting a Utility Job and Career Fair in partnership with Assemblyman Wayne P. DeAngelo on Monday, October 28, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Conference Center at Mercer, located at Mercer County Community College. For more information, contact Assemblyman Wayne DeAngelo’s office at asmdeangelo@njleg.org or 609-631-7501.

At the event, which is free and open to the public, representatives from NJUA member companies Aqua, Jersey Central Power & Light/A FirstEnergy Company, Middlesex Water Company, New Jersey American Water, New Jersey Resources, and PSE&G, as well as many non-utility organizations, will be on hand to accept resumes, answer questions, and provide information about careers and related educational programs in the utility and trade businesses.

“New Jersey’s residents and businesses depend on utilities to provide service to natural gas, electric, water, wastewater and telecommunications around the clock,” said Tom Churchelow, senior director, government and public affairs at NJUA. “It’s crucial we have a skilled workforce in place.”

“We hope those interested in these careers recognize that working for a utility is not just a job. Instead, it’s a rewarding and challenging career choice, with endless opportunities and a direct impact on our state,” said Jim Fakult, chairman of NJUA’s board of directors and president of Jersey Central Power & Light.

Grant

Rider University, 2083 Lawrence Road, Lawrenceville 08648. 609-896-5000. Gregory Dell’Omo, president. www.rider.edu.

Rider University has received the largest ever gift in its history, from businessman Norm Brodsky. The university is naming its college of Business Administration in honor of the benefactor, Norm Brodsky and his wife, Elaine, who gave $10 million for a scholarship for business students and to support future business school projects.

Brodsky, an entrepreneur, lawyer, and accountant who has launched eight successful businesses, is an adjunct professor at the university.

“This extraordinary gift exemplifies Norm and Elaine’s deep passion for Rider and its students,” said Rider University President Gregory G. Dell’Omo. “In recognizing this unprecedented level of support, we look to the future, and to what can be accomplished because of the generosity of the Brodskys. The impact of this gift will be nothing short of remarkable for our university.”

The Norm Brodsky College of Business is the first college at the university to be named for an alumnus.

After graduating from Rider with a bachelor of science in commerce with a major in accounting, Brodsky earned a law degree from Brooklyn Law School. In 1979 he started his first business, Perfect Courier, a Manhattan-based messenger service. Within a few years it had offices around the country and landed on Inc. magazine’s annual list of the 500 fastest-growing private companies in America three years in a row.

In the years that followed Brodsky launched seven more successful businesses, including CitiStorage, the largest independent, privately owned archive business in the country. In 2007 he sold it, along with Perfect Courier and an affiliated document destruction company he co-founded, U.S. Document Security, to Allied Capital. His other ventures include a large-scale land purchase now known as Bushwick Inlet Park; Kobeyaki, a fast-casual Japanese restaurant; and two hotels in North Dakota called Black Gold Suites.

In addition to founding multiple businesses, Brodsky has also been a contributing writer at Inc. magazine since he launched his Street Smarts column in 1995.

He has regularly appeared on MSNBC, CNN, and Bloomberg TV as a business commentator, and is the co-author of “The Knack: How Street-Smart Entrepreneurs Learn to Handle Whatever Comes Up” with Inc. magazine’s former editor-at-large Bo Burlingham.

In addition to being Norm’s business partner, Elaine Brodsky is the chairwoman of the North Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce. (The couple’s office is located in north Brooklyn.)

State Minimum Wage to Rise by $1 to $11

New Jersey’s minimum wage for most workers will rise to $11 in January, the state Department of Labor announced. It is currently $10. Farm workers, seasonal workers, and workers for companies with fewer than six employees will have a $10.30 minimum wage instead.

The increase is part of a schedule to increase the minimum wage to $15 by 2024. Governor Phil Murphy signed the new minimum wage law in February.

Deaths

Scott Albert, on October 5. He was a senior global trainer at the Center for Supportive Schools in Princeton and was previously a peer group connection advisor at the Waldorf School of Princeton and the Lawrenceville School.

Victor Walcoff, 92, on October 18. He was an attorney and certified public accountant for more than 50 years. He held positions as the City Attorney for Trenton and served as the acting mayor of Trenton in March, 1971.

John B. ‘Jack’ Zoller, 83, on October 17. He was the former owner/operator of the Greenwood Grill, located on Greenwood Avenue in Hamilton, for 40 years. He also served as a Hamilton Township councilman as well as a Hamilton Township Republican chair.

Joan F. Hartman, 85, on October 14. She was an assistant accountant for Rider University until retiring in 2014.

Richard S. Plumeri, 88, on October 14. He formed Richardson Realtor in 1960 and Richardson Commercial Realtor in 1980. He managed four offices in Mercer County and was a charter member of the Homes for Living Network.

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