O2 Builds Top 5 Asbestos Abatement Biz

1 Priority Environmental Services, a provider of asbestos abatement services and a portfolio company of O2 Investment Partners, has merged with Earth Services & Abatement. O2 acquired 1 Priority Environmental Services in May 2018.

Earth Services & Abatement (ESA) is an environmental remediation and demolition firm serving the Rocky Mountain and Midwest Regions. The company’s services include asbestos and lead abatement, water and soil remediation, structural demolition, hydro-blasting and coating removal.

ESA, headquartered in Denver, maintains licenses and certifications in 34 states and has completed more than 10,000 projects since its founding in 1982 by Mike Mitchell (www.esasite.com).

1 Priority’s services include asbestos abatement, lead abatement, mold/microbial remediation, HVAC system air duct cleaning, and biohazard decontamination. Customers of the company are active in a range of industries including commercial, industrial, infrastructure (roadways and bridges), military and governmental, aviation, education, and healthcare. 1 Priority, led by CEO Gary Caldwell, was founded in 2003 and is headquartered in Fort Worth, TX with regional Texas offices located in Houston, San Antonio, Corpus Christi, Gatesville (Fort Hood), Lubbock, and two additional regional offices located in Shreveport and Baton Rouge, LA (www.go1priority.com).

“We are extremely excited to partner with ESA and we believe their premier reputation for quality service and thoroughness is a perfect complement to 1 Priority and will allow both companies to better serve their clients,” said Mr. Caldwell. “This partnership significantly enhances our capabilities and geographic reach. Between 1 Priority and ESA, we will be able to serve clients from the Southeast to the Rocky Mountains to the Midwest.”

The combination of 1 Priority and EAS creates one of the top five abatement firms by revenue in the U.S., according to Engineering News-Record’s top abatement contractors list. Post-closing, both companies will maintain current operations and leadership with Gary Caldwell remaining as CEO of 1 Priority and Kory and Kristian Mitchell as Co-Presidents of ESA.  O2 remains as the majority owner of the combined companies.

“The combination of 1 Priority and ESA creates one of the largest abatement companies in the country that also has significant capabilities in related environmental and specialty infrastructure services, including remediation and decontamination,” said Luke Plumpton, a partner at O2. “We’re thrilled to partner with Kory and Kristian and to support them in accelerating the growth of ESA.”

O2 makes control investments of $5 million to $75 million in companies with EBITDAs from $2 million to $10 million located anywhere in the US and Canada but has a preference for the Midwest and the Great Lakes regions. Sectors of interest include niche manufacturing, niche distribution, select service businesses, and certain technology businesses. In October 2017, the firm held a final closing of its Oxygen Fund with an above-target $100 million of capital commitments. O2, based in the Detroit suburb of Bloomfield Hills, is backed by the Orley family which has been investing in operating businesses and real estate since 1950 (www.o2investment.com).

© 2019 Private Equity Professional | February 8, 2019

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