Founded in 1886 to mine Appalachian coal, Berwind began leasing its mining operations in 1962 to fund investments in new ventures. Berwind Corporation mainly invests in manufacturing and service companies. It is a long-term investment company, preferring a buy-and-hold strategy over quick turnarounds for rapid returns. The firm gives autonomy to the management teams of its portfolio companies while adding investment fuel to their financial fires. Its diverse portfolio includes Elmer's Products, maker of Elmer's Glue, Krazy Glue, and other products; specialty chemicals companies CRC and Colorcon; and promotional products firm National Pen. The Berwind family has owned Berwind Corporation for five generations.
Berwind's venture capital arm, Inflection Point Ventures (IPV), funds early-stage telecommunications and information technology concerns. Its investments range from $500,000 to $2 million. However, the venture capital firm is managing its existing portfolio and not making new investments. Berwind Property Group (or BPG Properties) owns more than 25 million sq. ft. of commercial, multifamily, retail, and industrial properties. Another unit, Berwind Natural Resources, still holds coal, natural gas, and timber rights in Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia.
Berwind takes full ownership of its investment companies and buys with cash. It targets companies that show steady growth, international operations, and companies with high growth margins. Berwind plans to invest another $1 billion by 2014. – less