Hunter Manufacturing Company, renamed Hunter Defense Technologies, was a privately owned manufacturer of specialized heaters, air filtration products and other products focused on the military and commercial truck end markets.


Rockwood acquired Hunter Manufacturing Company in 2000 from a retiring owner.  At the time, this $20 million company manufactured a variety of military and industrial products at four facilities.

Rockwood’s Role


  • Recruited new CEO to replace the retiring owner and other key members of the senior management team, which collectively owned more than 15% of the company
  • Recruited a value-added Board of Directors that included a retired Two Star Army General and a former head of defense-related divisions of TRW
  • Supported Hunter’s management team as they drove through operational improvement initiatives, consolidating and expanding facilities, implementing lean manufacturing, upgrading IT systems, improving working capital usage and increasing margins
  • Invested in the development of new military product lines including one that resulted in a $100 million contract
  • Acquired three strategic military product lines adding more than $20 million in sales
  • Invested in the build-out and staffing of an air filtration research laboratory for Hunter’s military customers


  • Through these changes and investments, Hunter grew sales of its core military product lines from $16 million to $66 million and EBITDA from $2.2 million to $11 million in three years
  • In 2003, Rockwood and management sold Hunter generating $90 million of equity value and a cash-on-cash return to Rockwood in excess of 70 times invested capital