CW Industrial Partners


Cleveland private equity firm CapitalWorks has completed a majority investment in Electromechanical Research Laboratories, Inc., of New Albany, Indiana, (ERL) and subsidiary Law Valve of Texas in partnership with President and CEO, Stephen Wilkins and the ERL management team.

Founded in 1970, ERL Commercial Marine is the leading provider of pumping, gauging, venting, environmental and related solutions for tank barges. Its strong commitment to engineering and research and development has led to more than 30 patents while its dedication to customer service and support has earned a strong brand reputation and loyal customers.

“We are excited to partner with Stephen and the rest of the ERL team,” said CapitalWorks Managing Director and CEO Dick Hollington. “They have earned the position of market leader in their niche market through consistent product innovation and a commitment and focus on customer service. We see ample opportunities for ERL to continue its stellar track record and look forward to partnering with the team.”

“CapitalWorks is the ideal partner for our next chapter of growth,” Wilkins said, “due to its track record of growing family owned businesses and its industrial orientation, midwestern values and alignment around our strategy for growth.”

Fifty years ago, Dr. Larry Wilkins founded ERL and grew the business through engineering superior solutions, providing best in class customer service and following the Golden Rule to treat others as you wish to be treated. Stephen Wilkins succeeded his father and has continued this focus on new product development and values since joining the business in 2009.

As a result, ERL has grown into an industry leading supplier of mission critical industrial components and repair and maintenance services to the inland marine barge market.

Senior financing was provided by CIBC. Oxer Capital provided subordinated debt and equity. CapitalWorks LLC was advised by Calfee, Halter & Griswold on the transaction. ERL Inc. was advised by Baird BOS, Lynch Cox Gilman & Goodman PSC and Harding Shymanski & Company PSC.

About Electromechanical Research Laboratories, Inc.

ERL is a diversified manufacturer and repair service provider, producing equipment for inland and blue water barges as well as railroad cars. Its broad product line includes pumps, valves, overfill protection, cargo gauging, and other marine products. ERL’s commitment to product innovation and customer service has allowed the Company to firmly establish itself as a leading value-added solutions provider to the inland marine market.

About Law Valve of Texas

Law Valve of Texas ( provides in shop and on barge repair for tank barge equipment in Houston and the surrounding areas. Law Valve repairs all types of barge equipment such as pumps, valves, sight glass, mechanical seals and actuators. Law Valve is known for industry leading 24/7/365 support and service in the tank barge industry.