Norwest Equity promotes two

The Minneapolis, Minnesota-based firm has promoted two of its investment professionals, one to the level of partner and one to principal.

Minneapolis, Minnesota-based Norwest Equity Partners, a middle market investment firm associated with Wells Fargo, has promoted Timothy Kuehl to partner and Todd Solow to principal.

Kuel joined the firm in nine years ago. His duties have included evaluating potential investments, sourcing deals, conducting due diligence and assisting with transactions. He is on the board of three portfolio companies: Gaymar Industries, a maker of specialty medical devices and patient care solutions acquired in February of 2003; Lindstrom Metric, a maker of metric fasteners acquired in March of 2006; and Production Services Associates, a direct marketing service provider acquired in October of 2006.

Solow has been with Norwest since 2003. He evaluates investments, conducts due diligence and monitors communications between legal counsel and company management. He serves on the boards of portfolio companies Airpax Corporation and Becker Underwood. Norwest acquired Airpax, a designer and maker of protection devices for industrial equipment, in April of 2004. It acquired Becker Underwood, a supplier of chemicals and biological products, in August of 2004.

Solow is also a member of the team working with portfolio company Jacobson Companies, a third-party logistics provider acquired in May 2004. That team has worked with the company’s management to complete the addition of warehouse facilities, non-asset intensive third party logistics, storage and transportation and contract packaging, the firm said in a statement. Partners John Thomson and Erik Torgerson and operating partner Bruce Lohn are also working on Jacobson.

Founded in 1961, Norwest has approximately $3 billion in capital under management. It is currently investing NEP VIII, an $800 million fund that closed in 2004.

Following a spike in gold prices, Aurafin, a gold jewelry maker and a Norwest portfolio company, received $140 million in financing in August 2006. Bank of America, Soverighn Bank and ABN AMRO led the facility, which extends through 2009.