Superior Controls

A worker at MassBiologics, a pharmaceutical manufacturing facility south of Boston that makes children’s vaccines, works above one of 40 control panels — the big stainless steel box at right — custom-made by Seabrook-based Superior Controls. The panels contain computers programmed by Superior Controls to automate the facility’s manufacturing processes.

SEABROOK — Superior Controls, a Seabrook-based business that serves biotech and pharmaceutical manufacturers, has been acquired by a company whose private equity parent already owns two other industrial automation companies.

Falfurrias Capital Partners in Charlotte, N.C., announced Thursday that its portfolio company, E-Technologies Group, has closed on the acquisition.

Rick Pierro, co-founder and president of Superior Controls, said the deal will allow the 26-year-old company to grow more aggressively, expanding its reach from four offices on the East and West coasts to 12 offices nationally as part of ETech.

“There’s a big demand in life sciences for automation right now,” Pierro said. “Geographically, it’s a perfect fit.”

The company expects the 150 employees at Superior Controls will keep their jobs. Pierro said it has 135 engineers and professionals, many of whom graduated from the University of New Hampshire.

As part of the acquisition, Pierro will become president of ETech’s life sciences solutions vertical market. He will report to ETech CEO Ralph Carter.

Carter cited geography and Superior Controls’ reputation for excellence as reasons why they wanted to acquire the company.

“This is going to help us serve our customers,” Carter said. “It provides us with a geographic presence we don’t have today in New England, New York and California.”

ETech is based in West Chester, Ohio. Carter said the company has more than 200 projects going at any given time and has four other vertical markets.

The company specializes in automation, information systems, machine safety, machine and process modeling, as well as simulation across multiple industries using current and emerging technologies, according to a press release issued with the announcement.

Marc Oken, chairman of Falfurrias Capital Partners, said they look forward to working with Pierro and Carter to leverage opportunities for growth.

Falfurrias Capital Partners is a private equity investment firm founded in 2006 by Hugh McColl, former chairman and CEO of Bank of America, Oken, former CFO of Bank of America, and managing partner Ed McMahan.

The acquisition of Superior Controls is the culmination of two previous deals.

Seeing an investment opportunity in the rapid adoption of automation by industry, Falfurrias Capital Partners acquired ETech in early 2018 with a plan to expand the company’s capabilities and geographic reach, the companies said. Superior Controls is ETech’s second add-on acquisition, following ETech’s purchase of Austin, Texas-based Glenmount Global Solutions in October 2018. Separately, Superior Controls added a significant West Coast presence in 2017 with its acquisition of Banks Integration Group.