Akoya and Hillcrest Partner on CSS

Akoya Capital Partners and Hillcrest Holdings have acquired Evolver and eVigilant, two Virginia-based security companies, to form Converged Security Solutions.

Converged Security Solutions (CSS) provides both cyber and physical security services including surveillance, building access control, intrusion detection, mass notification, perimeter screening, barriers, gate controls, biometric technology, and visitor management systems. The company’s services include assessment, remediation, and monitoring of IT and infrastructure to quantify, reduce, and manage security risk. CSS is headquartered in Reston, VA (www.convergedsecuritysolutions.com) (www.evolverinc.com) (www.evigilant.com).

John Regazzi, Akoya’s Information Services Sector Leader, will serve as Chairman of the Board of CSS, and Dr. Bob Friedenberg, an Akoya Operating Partner, will serve as the newly appointed CEO of CSS. “The CSS executive team brings a rich, extensive background and depth of expertise in cyber and physical security for public and commercial sectors alike. We are thrilled to work with the existing management team in growing and expanding the company’s product lines, customer relationships and geographic footprint,” said Mr. Regazzi.

Akoya Capital Partners invests in US-based companies with revenues from $20 million to $200 million and EBITDA of at least $3 million. Sectors of interest include specialty chemicals, industrial products and distribution, consumer foods and products, and professional information services. The firm is headquartered in Chicago (www.akoyacapital.com).

The creation of CSS is Akoya’s 14th platform investment and its second consecutive investment partnering with a family office. “The CSS acquisition is consistent with our investment strategy of combining world-class executives, well-positioned companies, and fully developed value creation strategies to create significant value for management and investors.   We were delighted to partner with Hillcrest Holdings on this transaction as they have proven to be a value-added investor and strategic partner,” said Max DeZara, Managing Partner of Akoya.

Hillcrest Holdings is a family-owned holding company that invests in privately held middle market businesses in the United States that have enterprise values between $25 million and $150 million. Hillcrest is led by Chairman and President John Smith and Vice President Ian Smith. The Smith family business dates back to 1955 when Herald and Miriam Smith started Cedar Rapids Steel Transport (CRST). Now in its third generation of family ownership, CRST International has evolved from a trucking firm to one of the nation’s leading providers of transportation services. Cedar Rapids, IA-based Hillcrest was formed in 2012 to diversify and grow the family-owned business through direct equity investments outside of the transportation industry (www.hillcrestholdings.com).

BMO Harris Bank provided senior debt to support this transaction and Tecum Capital Partners provided subordinated debt and made an equity co-investment.

© 2018 Private Equity Professional | October 31, 2018

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