Strength Sells Inland Pipe to J. F. Lehman

Strength Capital Partners has sold Inland Pipe Rehabilitation to J.F. Lehman & Company.

Inland Pipe Rehabilitation (IPR) is a provider of trenchless pipe rehabilitation services – which allow for the completion of underground repair or replacement projects with minimal surface and environmental disruption – to the municipal wastewater and stormwater markets.

IPR’s services provide its customers with minimally disruptive, cost-effective solutions to manage aging underground pipe infrastructure. Over the last 30 years, trenchless rehabilitation technologies have steadily gained ground on traditional “dig and replace” methods.

IPR’s primary technical and operational capabilities include cured-in-place-pipe, pipe bursting, and geopolymer spray lining. The company, led by CEO Robert McCrae, has approximately 450 employees and is headquartered near Atlanta in Conyers, GA (www.inlandpiperehab.com).

Strength Capital acquired IPR in 2005.  At that time the business was combined with Inland Industrial Services, which was split off in 2007 and sold in 2013 to Aquilex HydroChem, then a portfolio company of Centerbridge Partners. During the term of its ownership, Strength Capital grew IPR through a combination of seven add-on acquisitions and organic growth. These efforts grew the company from a localized Detroit-based operation with significant customer concentration to a diversified, national platform with 19 locations and an Atlanta headquarters. The sale of IPR to J.F. Lehman produced a 3.4x return on Strength’s invested capital.

Strength Capital Partners invests in companies that have from $2 million to $20 million of EBITDA. Sectors of primary interest include manufacturing, distribution, infrastructure and industrial services. Since its founding in 2000, the firm has invested $450 million in equity across 23 platform companies and 40 add-on acquisitions. Strength Capital has offices in Birmingham, MI; Cincinnati, OH; and Denver, CO (www.strengthcapital.com).

“We are excited to have IPR join our growing portfolio of companies in the environmental services sector,” said Glenn Shor, a partner with J.F. Lehman. “The company is an excellent fit with our investment strategy given its strong market position, comprehensive suite of services and talented workforce. We believe IPR has significant opportunities for growth given the increasing demand for efficient, cost-effective solutions to service the critical, but aging, municipal wastewater and stormwater infrastructure.”

J.F. Lehman is a middle-market private equity firm focused primarily on the maritime, defense and aerospace sectors. The firm was founded in 1992 by Dr. John Lehman, who served six years as Secretary of the United States Navy. J.F. Lehman is headquartered in New York with an additional office in Washington, DC (www.jflpartners.com).

Debt financing for this transaction was provided by Monroe Capital. Houlihan Lokey was the financial advisor to IPR.

© 2019 Private Equity Professional | January 4, 2019

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