Immigrant brothers, Fox sell Pine to NY firm in $70M+ deal

Saw Mill Capital LLP, a Briarcliff Manor, NY buyout firm that targets industrial companies, has agreed to buy testing equipment distributor and consultant Pine Environmental Services Inc., Windsor Township, near Trenton, NJ, from founders Angelo and Roger Pinheiro and Robert A. Fox's RAF Industries Inc., a Jenkintown industrial investment firm which has backed Pine since 2005.

Saw Mill agreed to invest more than $70 million in equity and assumed debt, according to a party familiar with the terms. Saw Mill says it buys businesses with at least $40 million in yearly sales.

Pine calls itself "the largest independent provider of environmental test and measurement equipment solutions in North America." The firm says it serves more than 2,500 customers, selling, servicing and advising them on the use of air, water and soil pollution detection and treatment systems built by third-party manufacturers.

The brothers, from an immigrant family from Portugal's Azores Islands, started the business in 1995, and expanded from nine national offices to 16, from Maine to Florida to California, since Fox invested in 2005. The pair will work with Saw Mill "to transition to our next stage of growth," younger brother Angelo Pinheiro, 40, in a statement. Pine is the English translation of the Portugese name Pinheiro.

After half a century in business, RAF founder Fox, a 1952 Penn grad (his brother is the namesake donor of Temple's business school (corrected)), remains "very much in charge, all day, every day," alongside RAF President Rick Horowitz and other RAF veterans, Andy Souder, the firm's vice president for acquisitions, told me. RAF's advisors in the sale included Patrick Hanraty, David Allebach and Alex Chadwick, from PNC Bank affiliate Harris Williams & Co.'s Philadelphia office.