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Transaction Experiences Bigelow Advises Yale Cordage, Inc. on its Recapitalization by River Associates Investments LP

Transaction Experience

Bigelow Advises Yale Cordage, Inc. on its Recapitalization by River Associates Investments LP

Yale Cordage, Inc. (“Yale”) announced it has been recapitalized by River Associates Investments LP (“River Associates”) alongside Yale management. Yale is a leading designer and manufacturer of high-performance synthetic rope and rope systems for critical, high cost-of-failure applications. River Associates is a private equity firm that focuses on investments in manufacturing, distribution, and industrial service companies. This transaction is the successful culmination of an initiative led by Bigelow LLC.

Originally founded in 1950, Yale ( is headquartered in Saco, Maine with an additional manufacturing facility in North Carolina.  It is recognized for world-class quality synthetic rope designed for a variety of innovative applications.  Yale produces a wide range of specialty ropes for key industries such as: heavy lift, specialty industrial, utility, arborist, life safety, and oceanographic / marine.  They utilize proprietary equipment and engineering ingenuity to design and manufacture synthetic rope and rope systems for hundreds of long-term customer relationships.  Yale is widely recognized in the cordage industry for its continuous efforts to develop unique, custom, and modified machinery, aspiring to process advanced fibers to their fullest potential.  Chief Executive Officer and second-generation owner, Tom Yale, will be continuing on as a board member and shareholder while he transitions out of his role as CEO of Yale Cordage.

“It was important to me to find a partner who appreciates the product creativity and applications innovation that lies behind the strong reputation we maintain with our customers and in the markets we serve. River Associates impressed us with their transparency, their unwavering intent to partner with the management team, and their decades of experience investing in owner-led businesses. This gave us confidence that they would respect and preserve the Yale legacy and add great value through our partnership.” Tom Yale, Chief Executive Officer Yale Cordage, Inc.

Bill Putnam, President of Yale added, “I look forward to a strong, growth-oriented relationship with River for years to come. We believe their broad experience will help us take Yale to the next level for the benefit of our employees, customers, and supplier partners.”


River Associates ( was founded in 1989 and is headquartered in Chattanooga, Tennessee.  It is a private equity firm focused on partnering with management teams of manufacturing, distribution, and industrial services companies to support the growth of the business both organically and through add-on acquisitions. The partners and professionals at River Associates have diverse backgrounds including operations, finance, accounting, commercial banking and investment banking.

“Tom, Bill, and the rest of the Yale team immediately struck us as smart, ethical and hard working. We’ve found these character traits in the managers of all our best performing investments over the past 30+ years. Yale not only has an impressive history and respected name in the industry, but also tremendous potential for growth. We know that our partnership will be collaborative and steady in preserving the Yale legacy and respecting the team while also exploring a number of exciting growth avenues.” Mike Brookshire, Co-Managing Partner River Associates Investments

Originally established in 1935, Bigelow LLC ( is an independently owned M+A advisory boutique with a singular and passionate focus: entrepreneur owner-managed businesses. Bigelow has a reputation for having a unique understanding of the special requirements of the owner-managed, entrepreneurial operating company in building, and ultimately capturing Enterprise Value.

Saco, Maine

has been recapitalized by

Chattanooga, Tennessee

The undersigned initiated this transaction
and acted as M+A advisor to
Yale Cordage, Inc.

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