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Nekoosa sold to private equity firm Sentinel Capital Partners

NEKOOSA, Wisconsin (From news reports) -- A private equity firm has acquired Nekoosa Inc., which is based in the city of Nekoosa and produces specialty paper and film used in graphics and commercial print.

Sentinel Capital Partners, which invests in "promising companies at the lower end of the middle market," announced the acquisition Thursday but did not disclose terms of the deal.

Nekoosa, formerly known as Nekoosa Coated Products, was formed after the company was bought by Wingate Partners of Dallas in October 2012. The company had 90 local employees at the time.

Formerly part of 3M and Imation, Nekoosa Coated Products became an independent company in 2005.

The Nekoosa plant produces specialty engineered materials in four product areas: application and pressure-sensitive tapes used to protect and transfer graphics onto surfaces such as store windows and commercial vehicles; specialty synthetic papers that offer a digitally printable tear-and-water-proof alternative to lamination; sheeted digital and offset grade carbonless paper; and extruded film products used in wall panel, credit card, and lighting applications.

Nekoosa serves more than 70,000 commercial print and graphics shops in 65 countries.

"Nekoosa gives Sentinel an opportunity to partner with a differentiated industry leader that draws on a unique, niche product offering that is considered the 'gold standard' in its markets," said Scott Perry, a partner at Sentinel. "Nekoosa has enhanced its leadership position through its highly-specialized operational expertise, unparalleled distribution network, and excellent corporate culture committed to developing a first-class employee base."

Paul Charapata, CEO of Nekoosa, said that while owned by Wingate, the company has expanded with four acquisitions of other businesses.

"We look forward to working closely with our new partners at Sentinel to continue this positive trajectory," Charapata said.

Sentinel has been on a buying and selling spree over the past 12 months.

The firm also acquired Altima Dental of Canada, women's fashion marketer Cabi, MB2 Dental Solutions and SONNY'S Enterprises, which makes "conveyorized" car wash systems.

During the past year, Sentinel has sold Checkers & Rally's Restaurants, National Spine & Pain Centers, recreational-equipment maker Playcore, Power Products and WellSpring Consumer Healthcare.

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