GI Teams with Charlesbank on HVAC Platform

GI Partners has acquired a majority equity interest in American Residential Services. Existing investor Charlesbank Capital Partners and management are also making significant new investments in the business.

American Residential Services (ARS), is among the largest providers of residential heating, ventilation, air conditioning (HVAC) and plumbing services. The Memphis-based company operates a network of more than 70 service centers in 23 states, with approximately 6,500 employees.

According to the company, it has the largest team of HVAC technicians and plumbers in the US. ARS, led by CEO Dave Slott, operates under the national brand ARS and through more than 25 individual local brands.

Charlesbank acquired ARS from CI Capital Partners and its co-investor, Royal Palm Capital Partners, in May 2014. At that time, the company had 60 service centers in 21 states.

“We appreciate the dedication of the senior leadership team since our initial investment in 2014, and we look forward to continuing to partner with them for the next phase of ARS’s growth as a national leader in the residential HVAC industry,” said Andrew Janower, a managing director at Charlesbank. “We are especially grateful for the continued commitment of ARS’s front-line employees and technicians, who have worked tirelessly to provide outstanding uninterrupted service to consumers across the country through the COVID pandemic.”

“We welcome GI Partners, our new majority partner, and are excited to work with them to build upon the considerable momentum in the business and execute on our growth opportunities,” said Mr. Slott. “The GI Partners team brings deep services investment experience and operational and technological expertise that will provide significant opportunities for ARS’s employees while enhancing the customer experience.”

San Francisco-based GI Partners makes control equity investments in companies with enterprise values of $250 million to $1 billion that are active in the IT infrastructure, healthcare, software, and services sectors. The firm also invests in real estate. In November 2017, the firm held a final closing of GI Partners Fund V LP at an oversubscribed and hard cap of $2.8 billion.

“We have a great appreciation for the business that the team has built and have been impressed by the growth and resiliency evidenced by the company to date,” said Hoon Cho, a managing director at GI Partners. “We are very excited to partner with management and Charlesbank to accelerate positive change and execute on the significant opportunities ahead.”

Charlesbank invests in management-led buyouts and growth capital financings in companies with enterprise values of $150 million to $1.5 billion. Sectors of interest include consumer, industrial, industrial services and distribution, TMT, and business services. In October 2017, the firm held a final closing of Charlesbank Equity Fund IX LP at its hard cap of $2.75 billion. The firm has offices in Boston and New York.

This transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2020.

Private Equity Professional | September 16, 2020

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