CIC Invests in Cornerstone Automation Systems, Inc., a Logistics Software and Automation Company

CIC Partners LP sees big potential in Cornerstone Automation Systems, LLC, software and hardware solutions one-stop shop for material handling, logistics, packaging and manufacturing automation

DALLAS, TEXAS, February 21, 2011 – Dallas-based middle-market private equity firm CIC Partners LP today announced that the firm has made an investment in Cornerstone Automation Systems, LLC. Headquartered in Frisco, Texas, Cornerstone Automation Systems manufactures and integrates a full line of cutting edge material handling systems for manufacturers and distributors.

Founded in 2002, Cornerstone Automation Systems is dedicated to providing logistics and manufacturing customers with customized cutting edge automation solutions. The company offers software and hardware solutions to companies with large-scale material handling, logistics, packaging and manufacturing automation, and ongoing service required to meet the changing needs of its customers. Cornerstone Automation Systems has designed automated systems for everything from medicine and jewelry to cheese and golf clubs.

CIC Partners’ investment was made in partnership with CIC Operating Partner Tom Karol, former President of ElkCorp., and his management team as part of CIC’s ongoing initiative to invest with industry experts in growing and profitable businesses.

“We are pleased to have closed this investment and to formally begin our partnership with Tom Karol and the rest of the Cornerstone Automation Systems management team,” said Marshall Payne, Partner of CIC Partners. “Cornerstone Automation Systems has long been committed to bringing turnkey and innovative software and hardware solutions to logistics and warehouse operations. The company is well-poised for continued growth with the new leadership team.”

With Cornerstone Automation Systems expected to see rapid growth as a result of CIC’s investment, the company has announced the appointment of new leadership. Gus Freshwater will serve as CEO, Michael Doke as Executive Vice President, Kevin Beattie as CFO and Tom Karol as Chairman.

“Our clients are increasingly telling us that they need automated systems that are safe for their employees and that will save on the bottom line,” said Gus Freshwater, Chief Executive Officer of Cornerstone Automation Systems. “The partnership with CIC Partners will let us focus on doing what we do best: creating custom solutions for our customers that will improve their ability to efficiently and safely manage material handling, logistics, packaging and manufacturing automation.”

“A big part of our success comes from our ongoing commitment to our customers,” added Michael Doke, Executive Vice President of Cornerstone Automation Systems. “Today, technology changes at an incredible speed. Our customers know that Cornerstone Automation Systems’ cutting edge software team is behind them. The investment from CIC Partners is key in our ability to grow while maintaining our commitment to our customers.”

Representing both Cornerstone Automation Systems and CIC Partners in the transaction was Susan Harriman, an investment banker with WFG Investments Inc. located in Dallas, Texas.

About CIC Partners LP

Headquartered in Dallas, TX, CIC Partners LP is a middle-market private equity firm that invests in market-leading companies in North America. CIC Partners has successfully invested in more than 40 companies with revenues of $10 million to $1 billion in industries including energy exploration, food, restaurants and retail, and healthcare services. More information about CIC Partners can be found at

About Cornerstone Automation Systems

Founded in 2002 and based in Frisco, Texas, Cornerstone Automation Systems, LLC is a leader in state-of-the-art software and hardware solutions for material handling, logistics, packaging and manufacturing automation. Our in-house team of design engineers, software developers, controls specialists, manufacturing experts and support staff are committed to creating the most efficient, turnkey software and systems of the highest quality at the best cost, and to providing the superior ongoing support and customer service to our clients. More information on Cornerstone Automation Systems can be found at

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