Frederick, Colorado

Founded in the late 1990s. Acquired by Richland, Gordon & Company in 2005

Privately owned

Employees: About 100

Al Gordon’s in acquisition mode – hoping Star Precision becomes an engine for regional MFG growth

Star Precision is looking for acquisitions and partners who need “an engine room” for their manufacturing.

“We thought Star was an interesting platform to build a diversified manufacturing business,” says Al Gordon of Chicago-based Richland, Gordon & Company, Star Precision’s private-equity owner.

Gordon points to Star’s capabilities in sheet metal fabrication, precision machining, and powder coating that make it an ideal contract manufacturer or strategic partner. Featuring state-of-the-art lasers, welding, and punching equipment, Star’s 108,000-square-foot plant in Frederick “is a best-in-class manufacturing facility,” says Gordon. “We’ve got a blue-chip roster of clients for whom we provide manufacturing, assembly, and design.”

Star currently makes a wide variety of products for the architectural and construction, electrical, aerospace, energy, and medical markets. Gordon says he’s also in the process of acquiring with a number of manufacturing startups in Colorado and the Rocky Mountain region.

“We’re looking to grow the business organically and through outsourcing and connecting with strategic partners,” he explains. “We’re also looking for acquisitions of companies that have ideas for interesting and innovative products, where Star can be their effective ‘engine room’ for manufacturing.”

Gordon has been with Richland, Gordon & Company since the 1980s. It was originally founded by Arthur Richland in 1947 and today owns businesses in the manufacturing industry, as well as media, retail, and financial services. “I started with zero,” he says. “We have been able to roll the snowball downhill and grow the company.”

Star is currently in “advanced discussions” to partner or acquire several businesses, adds Gordon. “I think Colorado is a very robust marketplace for investing in growing companies, particularly in the manufacturing space. I’d love to own more in Colorado.”

Challenges: “The biggest challenge, frankly, is the economy,” says Gordon. “A more robust recovery in the economy would certainly help us.” He also says finding top-quality labor talent is also a challenge for the company.

Opportunities: There are plenty of potential partners. “Colorado is a highly desirable place to live and work,” says Gordon, attributing the concentration of entrepreneurs to the state’s quality of life. He sees a “significant professional infrastructure” that just needs a little push from partners with capital and entrepreneurial expertise.

Needs: “You are always hoping to meet more high-quality companies run by talented, motivated, ambitious entrepreneurs,” says Gordon of his pursuit of strategic partners.

It’s a bit of a numbers game, he adds. “You have to look at a lot of companies to find ones that fit,” says Gordon. “I’ve looked at over 100 in Colorado. But you never see enough — I’d love to meet more.”