Improving Business in the Wilmington Region
SOUTH-TEK SYSTEMS SET TO TAKE ADDITIONAL SPACE AS PART OF MAJOR GLOBAL EXPANSION EFFORT
A Year After Acquisition by Private Equity Group, Company Operations Will Relocate to Vacant Property on US 421
October 14, 2019 (Wilmington, N.C.) South-Tek Systems LLC, a leading designer and manufacturer of nitrogen generators for a diversified worldwide marketplace, will move into an existing 66,000-sq.-ft. building on US Highway 421 in Wilmington as part of an enhanced growth strategy that includes additional hiring and new products. Established in Wilmington in 1997, the company was privately held until its November 2018 acquisition by Pfingsten Partners LLC, a Chicago-based private equity group.
South-Tek began quietly considering a move to larger space three years ago, according to Alan Norman, the company’s vice president of operations. “At that time, there wasn’t much space in Wilmington larger than 40,000 square-feet,” Norman says. With the acquisition by Pfingsten last year, the company stepped up its site search with a call to WBD. “In receiving additional resources for growth, we knew we needed to move,” he says. With its vast contacts in Greater Wilmington’s industrial real estate market, WBD had heard of an available building that could fit the company’s growing needs. “Scott [Satterfield] connected us with the right agent and got the ball rolling,” says Norman.
The company hopes to relocate to its new facility next month, a move that will take its operations from 28,000 square-feet to 66,000 square-feet. “We’re expecting tremendous growth in the next five years – people, revenue, products, everything,” says Scott Bodemann, president of South-Tek Systems. A major wave of reinvestment in marketing, R&D and product development is behind the wave of growth. Thus far in 2019, for example, South-Tek has added 17 jobs to its workforce, bringing its headcount to 64. “In considering both office and manufacturing space, we’ve reached the maximum capacity of South-Tek’s current facility,” says Bodemann. “We are excited to transition into the larger building as it will increase our efficiencies as well as allow us to better plan for the future needs of our customers.”
South-Tek sells nitrogen generators and related products to buyers that include utilities, petro-chemical producers, manufacturers, energy providers and others. “We’re positioned really well in most markets,” according to Bodemann. “We aren’t limited in our end-users.” Distributors, governments and military organizations are also among South-Tek’s customers. “We sell all over the world – but primarily the U.S.” Nearly all of its raw materials are sourced domestically, Bodemann explains. [Additional information about the company is available at www.southteksystems.com]
“WBD is proud to assist South-Tek Systems as it executes this exciting expansion strategy,” says Scott Satterfield, CEO of Wilmington Business Development (WBD). “This is a homegrown company that has succeeded in a global market through initiative, innovation and hard work. All the right ingredients have come together to enable this dynamic international business to continue to grow and flourish right here in Greater Wilmington.”
South-Tek’s new facility, which is currently undergoing renovation, will be easily accessible to its employees, who commute from New Hanover, Pender and Brunswick counties. It will house all company operations.
Founded in 1989, Pfingsten Partners is an operationally focused private equity firm with offices in Chicago, China and India. The firm’s strategy relies on operational improvements, innovative management practices and global market development instead of financial engineering. Since completing its first investment in 1991, Pfingsten has raised five capital funds with commitments totaling $1.3 billion, and it has acquired 131 manufacturing, distribution and business services companies. Additional information is available at www.pfingsten.com.
Wilmington Business Development oversees business recruitment and industrial retention for the City of Wilmington, New Hanover County and Pender County. A private, non-profit organization founded in 1956, WBD supports members, partners and allies through an array of technical expertise, leadership resources and value-added business services. Visit www.wilmingtonbusinessdevelopment.com to learn more.
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