Advantage Capital Partners makes $10 million investment in St. Louis home products manufacturer

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Missouri New Markets Development Program positions Willert Home Products for growth
ST. LOUIS, October 28, 2009 - Advantage Capital Partners, a leading venture capital and small business finance firm, today announced that it has provided $10 million in financing to St. Louis-based Willert Home Products, the largest manufacturer of moth preventives in the United States. Advantage Capital partnered with Southwest Bank on the financing, made in connection with the successful federal and Missouri New Markets Development programs. The funding enables Willert to consolidate its manufacturing operations, as well as positioning the company for growth in the future.
“Willert is committed to the St. Louis region and the Missouri New Markets program helped solidify that commitment,” said Brian Warner, CFO of Willert Home Products. “The household products we manufacture can be found in every major retailer throughout the United States including grocery, drug, home improvement stores, and discount stores.”
Willert recently moved 23 jobs to St. Louis from Las Vegas, in an effort to consolidate operations. In addition to being the largest manufacturer of moth preventives in the United States, it is also the largest manufacturer of toilet bowl deodorizers, and cleaners. It has a significant market share and sells its products through retailers such as, Wal Mart, Family Dollar Stores, Home Depot and Walgreens.
“Willert has a strong and experienced management team, and is positioned to weather the current economic downturn with a commitment to growth,” said Jeremy Degenhart, Advantage Capital senior vice president. “The Missouri New Markets Development Program played an essential role in retaining jobs in the St. Louis region.”
The federal and state New Markets Development programs are designed to stimulate economic growth in communities that historically have been underserved by traditional sources of capital. To date, Advantage Capital has invested nearly $120 million in 25 Missouri businesses, in connection with the New Markets program. Statewide, these investments have created and retained 1,200 jobs with more job growth expected and follow-on capital tops $97 million.
About Advantage Capital Partners
Advantage Capital Partners is a leading venture capital and small business finance firm focused on investing in promising companies in connection with federal, state and local economic development efforts. With offices and partners in St. Louis, New Orleans, Austin and other U.S. cities, Advantage has raised more than $1 billion since 1992 and invested in companies located in geographic areas underserved by traditional venture capital.