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Investment firm buys EFACEC
efacec file
Caravels, LLC, has signed an agreement to purchase Rincon-based EFACEC Power Transformers. - photo by File photo

A manufacturer of power transformers that has called Effingham County home for three years has been purchased by a private investment firm.

Caravels, LLC, announced Thursday it has signed an agreement to purchase Rincon-based EFACEC Power Transformers.

Caravels intends to employ EFACEC’s experienced existing personnel in Rincon and use existing technology and processes to manufacture transformers.

“Caravels believes in the future growth of the electrical power industry expected in North America over the next 15 to 20 years,” said Neerja Gursahaney, managing partner of Caravels. “As such, we are interested in the long-term growth of their portfolio of investments in this market segment. Using the Rincon plant as our platform, Caravels plans to add other transformer, switchgear, and substation engineering businesses to the portfolio.”

The sale of assets includes the design and manufacturing technology, the plant and equipment, as well as the use of the brand EFACEC for a period of time. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Effingham IDA CEO John Henry said the new company plans to keep the existing workers and management and also will retain the existing name, for now. He added the company also plans to expand.

Meanwhile, Caravels has signed a strategic alliance with Virginia Transformer Corp., a leading manufacturer of custom power electric transformers for the utility, renewable energy, industrial, mining, oil and gas and other markets.

“We hope that will be a positive for our community,” said Effingham Industrial Development Authority Chairman Dennis Webb. “Virginia Transformer is a very large, very solid company.”

This alliance will develop and deliver advanced technology and services to customers around the world under the Virginia Transformer and EFACEC brands. Together with EFACEC’s Rincon facility, the Virginia Transformer family will become the nation’s second-largest transformer business by capacity and size and third in revenues, changing the landscape of the North American transformer industry.

Caravels will elect utility industry experts to the board of directors to provide direction and strategy, enhance the design and quality of manufacturing, and optimize the supply chain to achieve the level of operation envisioned by the EFACEC management. As part of the sale, the parent company of EFACEC, Group EFACEC of Portugal, will continue to provide technology consulting to Caravels when needed.

EFACEC built the world-class power transformer plant in Rincon in 2009.  The plant currently employs approximately 250 people.