HCI Equity Partners says Primat Group has made a controlling investment in its portfolio company Curtis Metal Finishing Group, in Sterling Heights, Michigan.

Curtis is a provider of engineered protective coating, pre-treatment, heat treatment, and technical intermediation services for metal fasteners, with customers in the automotive, construction, military, appliance, aerospace, and other sectors. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Primat, based in Milan, Italy, is an applicator of coatings for fasteners, primarily for the automotive industry. Company officials say Primat will leverage its proprietary line-automating technology at Curtis to become a high-quality, low-cost supplier to automotive customers. Primat’s investment in Curtis provides them with a North American footprint that establishes the combined company as a global provider of fastener coating services for the automotive industry.

Primat and HCI Equity Partners will continue as shareholders in Curtis, and Jeff Wilson will continue at Curtis in his current role as CEO.

Curtis Metal Finishing Group says it is the largest heat treatment and finishing operation in North America, with locations in Michigan and Illinois serving the automotive, heavy truck, agriculture, construction, energy, defense, and other industries. They offer a wide array of services, including continuous and batch hardening, solution treating, age hardening, gas nitriding, and induction hardening. They also offer premier coating application services, including Magni, Geomet, PPG cathodic ecoat, and Xylan, among other finishes.

Brothers Anthony and Ralph Hoensheid initially established Curtis in 1927 as a heat treat company principally serving the automotive industry. The Hoensheid family remains actively involved with management at CSTC.

“Primat’s investment in Curtis creates the most technologically advanced fastener coaters supplier in the automotive industry,” says Dan Dickinson, HCI’s Managing Partner. “Combining Primat’s best practices with Curtis’ location in the heart of the US automotive hub will result in delivering the highest standards of quality for its customers.”

HCI Equity Partners is a lower-market private equity firm focused on partnering with family and founder-owned distribution, manufacturing, and service companies.