Sterling Investment Partners has acquired W.A. Kendall, a provider of utility-focused vegetation management services, from Blue Point Capital Partners.
Kendall’s services include tree trimming, mowing, line clearing, debris removal, and storm restoration. Demand for the company’s services is largely driven by regulatory requirements and the necessity to routinely manage vegetation to mitigate power outages.
Kendall services nearly twenty-thousand miles of utility lines for many of the largest utility companies in the United States including rural electric co-ops, investor-owned utilities and public municipal utilities across the Southeastern and Central United States. The company, led by CEO Robert Williams, was founded in 1970 by Warren Kendall and is headquartered near Atlanta in Lawrenceville, Georgia.
Blue Point acquired the multi-generation and family-owned business through its fourth fund in December 2018 and was the company’s first institutional investor.
“With the help and support of Blue Point’s data and digital team, we implemented state of the art field technology, financial reporting and operational metrics solutions to improve management of our geographically distributed workforce and enhance customer service,” said Mr. Williams. “The Blue Point team did exactly what they said they were going to do, and their investments in growth initiatives have fortified the business so that our family legacy will live on for years to come.”
“It has been a pleasure to work alongside the Kendall team to position the company for long-term, sustainable growth,” said Brian Castleberry, a partner at Blue Point. “Our joint efforts to improve the business created lasting value for Kendall and the utilities they serve; we look forward to seeing the company’s continued success going forward.”
“Our investment in Kendall served as a continuation of Blue Point’s commitment and experience in the outsourced industrial services sector,” said Sean Ward, a partner at Blue Point. “We are extremely appreciative of the entire Kendall team, and we are proud of the milestones we achieved together.”
Sterling partnered on this transaction with Mr. Williams and other members of the senior management team.
“We are thrilled to partner with Sterling to execute our shared strategic vision for the company,” said Mr. Williams. “Sterling has a long history of successfully partnering with management teams to build industry-leading businesses, as well as relevant experience in the vegetation management services space. Sterling is an excellent cultural fit with our organization, and we look forward to working with them for this next phase of growth.”
“We are very impressed by Kendall’s commitment and dedication to its customers and employees, and its critical role as a best-in-class provider of essential vegetation management services, working in partnership with its customers,” said Charles Santoro, a managing partner and co-founder of Sterling. “The company has developed a tenured base of utility customers in an industry focused on safety, reliability, scale, and capabilities. We enthusiastically share a common vision with Robert and his team to help the company achieve continued growth in a large, fragmented and highly attractive market, while supporting the company’s strong culture and reputation.”
Westport, Connecticut-based Sterling Investment Partners invests in distribution and business services companies with revenues of $50 million to $500 million and EBITDAs of $10 million to $50 million. Sterling was founded in 1991 and has completed over 205 transactions totaling more than $23 billion in enterprise value.
“We are very excited to partner with Robert and the Kendall team, as they continue to expand their geographic reach and build a world-class business services platform,” said Joe Gault, a partner at Sterling.
Blue Point invests in companies that are active in the industrial, business services, consumer, and value-added distribution sectors and have from $30 million to $300 million in revenue and EBITDA greater than $7 million. The firm has offices in Cleveland, Charlotte, Seattle, and Shanghai.
Stout and Piper Sandler were the financial and advisors to Blue Point on this transaction.
© 2022 Private Equity Professional | April 28, 2022