Castle Harlan Sells Colyar to Banneker

Castle Harlan has sold Colyar Technology Solutions to EMS LINQ, a portfolio company of Banneker Partners.

Colyar specializes in the design, development, and implementation of child nutrition, food distribution, and compliance management software. The company was founded in 1989 and is headquartered in Phoenix.

Castle Harlan acquired Colyar in April 2016 and expanded the company to become the largest provider of software used to manage the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Child Nutrition and Food Distribution Programs. These federal programs provide funding for the purchase of USDA commodities to states, which in turn distribute the funds to local school districts to provide meals to children. Under Castle Harlan’s ownership, Colyar grew to serve 37 states, processing over $9 billion in claim reimbursements annually.

“Colyar is a great example of a Castle Harlan portfolio company that capitalized on its leadership position and grew both organically and through add-on acquisitions,” said David Pittaway, the vice-chairman of Castle Harlan. “Colyar has been a highly successful investment for Castle Harlan and its limited partners, and we wish the company and management team the best on its next phase of growth.”

Castle Harlan makes control investments in middle-market companies in North America, Europe, and Australia. The firm has raised eight private equity funds – five in the United States and three in Australia – totaling more than $6 billion in capital commitments.  Castle Harlan was founded in 1987 and is based in New York City.

“During our ownership period, we were able to strengthen Colyar’s position as the leading provider of technology-enabled school nutrition solutions by making significant investments in management, add-on acquisitions, and developing proprietary software,” said Patrick Zyla, a vice president at Castle Harlan.

“Our partnership with Castle Harlan has allowed us to provide customers with new technology solutions and related services,” said Colyar CEO Greg Baker. “We look forward to joining forces with Banneker and LINQ as we continue to develop new software products and provide higher service levels across the State and K-12 markets.”

LINQ provides software and analytics used by states and K-12 school districts to manage their operations. The company’s products include finance and human resources, nutrition management, digital payments, school and district websites, student registration, and document management. LINQ was founded in 1989 and is headquartered in Wilmington, North Carolina.

San Francisco-headquartered Banneker Partners invests in industry-vertical enterprise software businesses with annual revenues of up to $50 million. The firm is led by managing partner Stephen Davis who founded the firm in 2010. Prior to Banneker, Mr. Davis was a co-founder of Vista Equity Partners.

Private Equity Professional | October 2, 2020

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