Investment will accelerate product innovation and development as well as support complementary M&A opportunities
LOS ANGELES, Dec. 14, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Vance Street Capital (“Vance Street”), a Los Angeles based private equity firm, today announced it has partnered with Polara Enterprises LLC’s (“Polara”) management team to support the Company’s continued growth. Polara is the leader in pedestrian traffic safety products across North America. The acquisition represents Vance Street’s fifth platform investment out of Vance Street Capital III L.P. and leverages the firm’s experience in industrial technology and connected safety solutions.
Headquartered in Greenville, Texas, Polara designs and manufactures the most technologically advanced and durable ADA-compliant and pedestrian-friendly crosswalk devices on the market. Polara’s APS (Accessible Pedestrian System) units and push buttons can be found in cities across the United States and Canada, and they have been instrumental in enhancing pedestrian safety and driving innovation in the market.
Polara, founded by the McGaffey family, has been in business 50+ years, and has been specifically serving the pedestrian safety market for the past two plus decades. As part of the transaction, the McGaffey family rolled a significant ownership position in Polara and will continue to serve in leadership positions during the business’ next chapter of growth. “I am extremely excited about this partnership because it opens up significant opportunities for Polara to grow at an even faster pace as the leader in the Pedestrian Traffic industry, while maintaining a culture that strives to meet and exceed our distributors and their customer’s needs and expectations,” said John McGaffey, President of Polara. “Vance Street’s strong track record of partnering with family-owned businesses and supporting them through investments in people, process and product innovation is a great fit for our organization.”
“We are excited to partner with the Polara team to support the Company’s commitment to pedestrian traffic safety. Polara’s focus on product innovation centered on enhancing pedestrian safety, notably for the disabled community, will continue to be a core focus as part of Vance Street’s partnership with Polara,” said Steve Sandbo, Principal.
“Polara is a great example of our continued strategy to partner with best-in-class family-owned businesses,” said Brian Martin, Managing Partner at Vance Street. “The McGaffey family and management have built a terrific organization, and we’re honored to be able to support their continued growth.” at Vance Street. “Polara’s focus on IoT and connectivity is a great fit with our past investment experience and we are excited to support these initiatives.”
Harris Williams and Paul Hastings LLP acted as financial and legal advisors to Vance Street Capital. Capstone Partners served as financial advisor to Polara while Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck LLP served as legal advisor to Polara. Debt financing for the transaction was provided by Barings’ Global Private Credit. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.