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Sound Seal sold, but it’s business as usual for employees

Date: 1/24/2014

By Carley Dangona

AGAWAM – In a time of economic uncertainty, one business plans for its future while maintaining its employee base and company culture.

Sound Seal, founded in 1978 by co-owners Rich Mulcahy and Barry Lyons, announced on Jan. 20 that the 59-employee business was sold to Hamilton Robinson Capital Partners.

According to Dave Gilbert, general manager, Sound Seal will remain an independent company and now operates under the name Sound Seal Inc. It will continue to specialize in the design and fabrication of acoustical and noise control solutions for industrial and architectural applications.

“Most importantly, Sound Seal is still Sound Seal; we weren’t bought by a competitor,” Gilbert, an employee since 1995 said. “We have a team of really great people. Personally, the [sense of] security is why I’m here. We’re utilizing the folks that have been here.”

He explained Hamilton Robinson is a private equity firm that is interested in growing the business and does not view Sound Seal as a “fixer-upper.” The founders are invested in the fund and still have stake in the company as well as the management team, but Hamilton Robinson is the majority stakeholder.

“They [Mulcahy and Lyons] won’t have any day-to-day duties. This was an investment vehicle. Ideally the company is going to be invigorated with capital,” Gilbert said.

He stated that the goal is to find the best ways to expand the company. “We’re looking forward to adding more employees [in the future] and keeping the current culture,” he said.

Gilbert commented that he hasn’t seen any disadvantages as a result of the sale and that new CEO Joe Lupone has some “great ideas.”

Lupone said,” Sound Seal is a great company and I am proud to be leading the organization as we transition to a new capital structure and unlock our growth potential for years to come. The relationship with employees, suppliers and customers, so carefully nurtured over 34 years of business is Sound Seal’s basis of success. That philosophy and practice will not change.”