Riverside and Waud Close Sale

The Riverside Company has sold Health & Safety Institute (HSI), a provider of environmental, health and safety compliance and training services, to Waud Capital Partners.

HSI is a provider of emergency care training, continuing education, safety training and chemical compliance services. Company-owned brands include American Safety & Health Institute, MEDIC First Aid, 24-7 EMS & Fire, National Training Solution, SafeTec, Summit Training Source, Vivid Learning Systems, and WorkSafe Canada. HSI was founded in 1977 and is headquartered in Eugene, OR (www.hsi.com).

Riverside is an active investor in the education and training sector having acquired more than 60 companies since 1988 including those specializing in pre-K, K-12, post-secondary education, corporate training and certifications. Riverside first invested in HSI in July of 2006 before selling the company in March 2013 to DW Healthcare Partners (DWHP). In May 2015, Riverside reacquired the company from DWHP and invested in HSI’s sales, marketing, and software development capabilities in order to accelerate its organic growth rate. “We saw the potential to transform HSI from a traditional training company to a technology-oriented training and compliance company,” said Riverside Partner Peter Tsang. “This ultimately helped us solve more of our customers’ needs through an enhanced set of solutions.”

During Riverside’s hold period the company completed four add-on acquisitions with the buys of SafeTec Compliance Systems, a provider of chemical compliance services, in January 2016; CLMI Safety Training, a provider of safety training videos and programs, in June 2017; Vivid Learning Systems, a provider of online safety training, in March 2018; and EMS Safety Services, a provider of first aid and CPR training services, in January 2019.

“It has been a pleasure partnering with the HSI team these past four years,” said Riverside Managing Partner Suzy Kriscunas. “We are proud of the work we’ve accomplished with HSI management to execute four strategic acquisitions to expand the addressable market, grow market share and increase recurring revenue mix.”

“It has been an absolute pleasure working with the Riverside team on this transaction, and HSI has found a terrific partner in Waud to help support the organization’s next chapter of growth,” said Chad Birckelbaw, the chief executive officer of HSI. Mr. Birckelbaw and other members of the company’s management team will continue to lead the company under Waud ownership.

“HSI is a strong platform and a great fit with Waud’s business and technology services portfolio,” said Justin DuPere, a partner at Waud Capital. “We are partnering with an industry-leading CEO and management team that have successfully built HSI into a market leader and laid the foundation for tremendous growth and expansion. The company sits at the center of a highly fragmented compliance and training software market with attractive tailwinds, and we plan to capitalize on these industry dynamics to further accelerate growth.”

Waud Capital makes investments from $50 million to $150 million in middle-market companies with enterprise values from $50 million to $250 million that operate in the healthcare services, technology, and business services sectors. Since its founding in 1993, Waud Capital has made more than 275 investments, including platform companies and add-on acquisitions. The firm is headquartered in Chicago (www.waudcapital.com).

The Riverside Company, the seller of HSI, is a global private equity firm focused on investing in and acquiring growing businesses valued at up to $400 million. Since its founding in 1988, Riverside has invested in more than 600 transactions and its portfolio includes more than 90 companies. The firm is headquartered in New York (www.riversidecompany.com).

MidCap Financial was the Joint Lead Arranger, Sole Bookrunner and Administrative Agent for a $183 million senior secured credit facility that supported this transaction. MidCap’s deal team was led by TJ Ceravolo. MidCap Financial, in alliance with its investment manager Apollo Capital Management, is a middle-market focused, specialty finance firm that provides debt solutions of $10 million to $750 million to companies across all industries.

© 2019 Private Equity Professional | September 3, 2019

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