New Pendulum is growing its family of companies beyond New Pig 

In 1985, my father, Ben Stapelfeld, was running an industrial cleaning business, where they would go into manufacturing locations after hours to clean the facility to be ready for the next shift. Rather quickly, he saw that oil leaks and spills from machines required a significant amount of time and labor, and spill cleanup was becoming a financial drag. Back then, the common practice was to use loose clay granules to clean up oil, which was a heavy, dusty mess. Seeing an opportunity to increase efficiency, the invention process began. They cut up pantyhose and stuffed them with everything from sawdust to rice hulls, and finally ground corncob,” begins Clark Stapelfeld, CEO of New Pig Corporation (New Pig). 

According to those involved, when that prototype sat in a pool of oil, it looked like it was wallowing. Someone called it a pig, and the name stuck. New Pig Corporation and the PIG® Original Sock were born. “As you can imagine,” Clark continues, “we were working with ad agencies back then, and they were telling us not to use that name and that we should change it. But over almost 40 years, that funny name is one of our greatest assets and has become synonymous with the world’s best products for leaks, drips, and spills, alongside excellent service. Our name certainly leads to a lot of fun conversations with people, and it helps to set a tone that we’re a company that not only prides itself on excellent products and service, but that we like having fun, too.  

Clark Stapelfeld

Complex, comprehensive holdings 

“Over the years and following explosive growth, New Pig grew into the number one brand of industrial absorbents worldwide, helping facilities respond to every type of leak, drip, and spill imaginable. As New Pig grew, its parent company the New Pendulum Corporation (New Pendulum) grew alongside it. The New Pendulum family of companies now represents complex holdings including thirteen companies across nine countries and more than 750 employees. For example, one company actively sells through 13 different and distinct sales channels, and another has more than 1300 distribution partners. Despite the complexity and moving parts, we are ultimately a family-managed corporation that seeks to acquire and build for the long term.” 

While the companies under New Pendulum are wide-ranging, they’re united by their focus on the needs of modern manufacturing and the B2B sector. 

“New Pig, the largest and most well-known of the companies, is the world leader in products for leak and spill management with over 5000 products,” he elaborates. “The offering ranges from original PIG® Mat and products for responding to industrial leaks and spills to large scale containment for equipment. In the last decade, we have had significant success entering commercial and retail environments with products to reduce slips, trips, and falls, led by PIG® Grippy Mat. 

“We have four very distinct international operations, each serving the specific needs of markets in the UK, EU, India, and China. In 2011, we spun off New Pig Energy to allow for greater focus on large-scale engineered containment exclusively for the distinct needs of shale gas drilling operations. Another company under the umbrella, SpillTech, is a manufacturer of polypropylene sorbents, with significant focus on oil and gas and serving mid-market distribution partners. Interpak is an ISO 9001 certified broad-spectrum rotational molding operation, which specializes in custom products and containers.  

Expanding around opportunity  

“Our most recent acquisition is MasonWays, a leading manufacturer of rotomolded products serving convenience, retail, and grocery segments. Their products range from the industry’s widest dunnage rack and display base offering to the windshield service centers you might recognize from gas stations and fuel islands. This acquisition is currently merging into the tactical phase of operations, sales, marketing, and supply chain. We are fortunate to have this phase led by Mark Woytowich, New Pendulum VP, Strategic Integration, who brings more than 30 years of product and international unit experience to the effort. Ultimately, our approach is always centered on expanding around opportunity, whether adjacencies or via acquisition. We’re constantly looking for new opportunities that fit our criteria. 

“As a nearly 40-year-old company, we recognize that organic growth is not going to provide the level and speed of growth that it has in the past. So, to continue building on our capabilities and competencies, acquiring companies outside of our core business is a very appropriate approach to growth. Over the years, we have managed to successfully navigate an omnichannel approach to sales and marketing, and that requires the existence of considerable operational and marketing abilities. Leveraging these capabilities across portfolio entities is a key part of our strategy. When New Pendulum explores an acquisition, regardless of the focus of the business, it is because we believe there are specific opportunities for long-term growth, centered around our areas of expertise. We have found that unlike most in the acquisition space, we focus on businesses to invest in, as opposed to treating the acquisition as the end investment. That long-term approach is a significant reason why of the thirteen companies New Pendulum has created or acquired, we still hold twelve in our portfolio.” 

Clark was originally planning on attending law school. However, in the fall of his junior year of college, New Pig experienced one of the more pivotal moments in its history when a fire wiped out a 65,000 square-foot customer service and distribution center at its Tipton headquarters. “Fortunately, it was late in the evening and the small crew on shift managed to detect the problem and evacuate the building with no injuries,” Clark recalls. “I remember seeing the story on the news while I was away at college. I called my father and he said: ‘You’re studying business. Want to get your real-world MBA? Come home and watch this.’ Fortunately, I took his advice. The company lost virtually all its inventory, in addition to the call center. As a mail-order catalog company in a time before e-commerce really existed, it represented the loss of all the core operational functions that drove the business. It was amazing to watch the company, and our employees, rally. By the next day, they were taking calls in makeshift call centers. By the end of the week, they were shipping orders. I realized as I watched them navigate through this difficult situation that I would be crazy not to at least start my career there if I had an opportunity to. So, I did, and I never left. I’d never want to.”  

Robust relationships  

The management of New Pendulum are many of the same people who play leadership roles at New Pig, and that’s not down to chance, but rather, by design. “We have proven our approach and built unique competencies in the success of New Pig over nearly four decades, so our belief is that if we seek to create similar levels of performance in other companies, those leaders and competencies are a natural fit. That structure is a strength for New Pendulum, as we have built significant in-house resources to help ensure the success of any acquisition. We don’t rely on outside consultants, as we have a system and standards built from direct experience. 

“In the past, New Pendulum was very much a silent entity providing financing and high-level strategic guidance for the companies,” Clark explains. “In the last year or so, we have been shifting toward New Pendulum being more visible in the market and more aggressive in positioning ourselves for growing our family of companies. It’s an exciting time for us, and it’s exciting to see the reception we get when talking to potential acquisitions. Many of them already know us and our reputation through New Pig. 

“As part of the ethos and culture we’ve built over the years, we know supplier partners are a crucial part of the business. While many companies talk about suppliers as partners, when you go out into the market, you sometimes see demand-side behaviors that don’t necessarily support partnership. One of our core beliefs is that if we want the best suppliers, we need to be the best customer possible. We may not be the largest customer, from a financial perspective, but New Pendulum companies’ relationships with suppliers are about growing together, finding opportunity together, and being honest with each other. In turn, when you look at the awards New Pendulum companies have received from some of the largest distributors in the world, it’s safe to say we’re a high-performance supplier ourselves. But we’re only as good as our supply chain, from raw materials to packaging. 

Ben Stapelfeld, New Pig Founder

Customer driven 

“We make it a point to stress the importance of mutual respect as the foundation of our interactions, both internally and externally. It’s hard to establish any sort of strong culture without that. When you consider an acquisition new to our family of companies, the dynamics are like a family or marriage, in some ways. There is an aspect of shared lineage, values, and integration, but just as a family doesn’t consist of identical carbon copies of parents, we don’t seek to make acquisitions carbon copies of New Pig. 

“For example, you see that our family of companies and products exists across a wide spectrum of segments, price points, and industries. Some areas are highly relationship oriented; some are purely transactional; some are very technical, and regulation driven, and others are elegant in their simplicity. The shared value across all those scenarios is that we seek to create the best experience for the need. If the customer segment values transactional speed, we seek to build the most streamlined transactional experience. If they value a dedicated relationship, we are there as well. But within an organization, or between organizations, it’s very important to realize and embrace those differences. New Pig often has as much to learn from the entities that New Pendulum acquires as the other way around.” 

The organization extends this ethos to the wider community and its approach to social responsibility. The Giorgio Foundation is a case in point. “The foundation was created by my parents and my sister in 2014, and is named for my sister’s son,” Clark elaborates. “When Giorgio was a small child, they started noticing he was missing significant developmental milestones. At age five, a neurologist correctly diagnosed it as Neurofibromatosis Type 1 (NF1). NF1 affects one in every 3000 births, leading some researchers to refer to it as ‘the most common disorder you’ve probably never heard of.’ Essentially, NF1 turns off a single gene and when that one gene fails, it can lead to disfiguring, debilitating tumor growth and bone deformities as a child grows. Currently, no surgery or treatment can stop it. The Giorgio Foundation is carefully structured so that every single dollar donated goes directly to groundbreaking NF1 research. Generous support from donors of all sizes has funded more than $3 million of research since 2016, which has led to some truly groundbreaking developments. I’d encourage readers to learn more at, and to please consider donating.”  

Investing in product development 

Alongside social responsibility, the business takes its environmental governance equally seriously. “Our approach to ESG is ultimately practical and purpose driven. In the case of New Pig and our international entities, SpillTech and New Pig Energy, those businesses are directly focused on preventing harm to people and the planet. From helping facilities worldwide comply with environmental regulations to providing a range of products for environmental cleanup and protection and worker safety, our companies tend to play a very direct and tangible role in sustainability efforts. 

“Andy James, New Pendulum VP, Marketing and New Pig CMO, has also now spent more than a decade on faculty at The Pennsylvania State University teaching his Sustainability Driven Innovation course. A few years ago, he created New Pig’s Spill Risk Algorithm to help facilities understand their specific spill risk profile and how exactly to reduce those risks. That process has 13 international patents and has been instituted in thousands of facilities worldwide,” Clark shares. 

Looking ahead, Clark believes that the organization will face the same macroeconomic headwinds as everyone else. “Our goal, as always, is to continue to provide excellent products and customer service. We will continue moving forward and finding new opportunities just as we have for the last 40 years, as well as continuing to expand our product offerings in ways that are meaningful and helpful to our customers. 

“From a New Pendulum standpoint, I certainly hope to see increased deal flow and more successful acquisitions. From a New Pig standpoint, I would hope to see us taking our considerable brand strength into areas and segments that our analysis suggests will be fruitful and helpful. We believe that class-leading products and excellent service are always in demand, so our challenge there is specifically identifying those next areas where we can bring value and where customers need us,” he concludes. “Ultimately, we’re willing to invest in those opportunities, which will likely mean considerable investment in our product development capabilities.”