Carson City’s Owens Precision founder sells, retools

Carson City’s Walt Owens founded the local machining company Owens Precision under a different name 37 years ago, but has been working in transition after selling his business.

Owens, also a member of the city’s planning commission, said he does scouting/consulting work for Camwood Capital Group of Austin, Texas, the purchaser, and is laying groundwork for his next business called Baseline Consulting. Owens said he still has an office at the company he began almost four decades ago, and during the transition travels to check out other companies Camwood Capital might have an interest in purchasing.

“The people that bought my business have sent me to other firms to get my input,” he said. “They’re trying to make a conglomerate of companies.”

The idea, said Owens, is to forge a group of business firms concentrating on producing supplies for aerospace and aeronautics. The company Owens sold to Camwood, which now employs about 75, does that and also has made products for the medical field, valves for Silicon Valley firms and motion control devices.

Camwood Capital Group, which began in 2013, calls itself a boutique private equity firm and on its website offers a blueprint showing it acquiring small, privately-held firms in the low- to mid-range market. It features on its website a model that partners with firms with solid management and sound products.

“It’s a pretty smart idea, actually,” said Owens. He not only retains an office at the firm he sold, but has a stockholder’s interest in future success. He said since he sold late last year, about 10 employees have been added in the Carson City area, and he stays familiar with progress as he still goes there two or three times weekly. “They have not seen any disruption in their work environment,” he said of the employees. He said no full time personnel got laid off, the transition is going well and the firm is expanding.

Though he calls himself “happily retired,” Owens quickly adds he’s “ready to start a new business” in the consulting field.

“I need to feel productive and put money in the bank account rather than taking it out,” he said.

He began Owens Precision as Capitol Engineering and Manufacturing and grew it into its present form, but had to move to Carson City’s east side and Mound House as he accommodated that growth.

“It started in a garage at my house at the other end of town,” Owens said.


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