Vance Street Capital has acquired Carmanah Technologies, a provider of pedestrian traffic systems.
Vance Street will combine Carmanah with Polara Enterprises, a Texas-based OEM manufacturer of pedestrian traffic management and safety systems that Vance Street acquired in December 2021. The combination of these two businesses creates a new intelligent transportation systems platform for Vance Street.
Intelligent transportation systems (ITS) include accessible pedestrian signals (APS) systems and central control units (CCUs) installed in crosswalk and intersection traffic safety systems, as well as “away from intersection” pedestrian and traffic safety technology.
Carmanah is a designer and manufacturer of solar and AC-powered systems used for “away from the intersection” pedestrian and traffic safety in mid-block crosswalks, school zones, traffic-calming and general hazard marking applications. Customers of the company include both local municipalities and ITS distributors. Carmanah was founded in 1999 and is headquartered near Vancouver in Victoria, British Columbia.
“Polara is pleased to see Vance Street adding another “Best in Class” company to their traffic platform,” said John McGaffey, the president of Polara. “For the past 10+ years Polara has enjoyed a strong vendor relationship with Carmanah, and now looks forward to working more closely with Carmanah in providing the best pedestrian safety and ITS solutions that will help achieve the goals of Vision Zero.”
Vision Zero is a global movement to end traffic-related fatalities and serious injuries by taking a systemic approach to road safety. The premise of this strategy is that road deaths and injuries are unacceptable and preventable.
“This is an exciting day for Carmanah as we enter a new chapter,” said Geoff Wilcox, the president and CEO of Carmanah. “Vance Street’s commitment to developing a traffic and pedestrian safety ITS platform aligns with our confidence in the growth of the pedestrian and driver safety market. It kickstarts a new and exciting phase for us that will propel greater opportunities and development of our critical safety products.”
“We are excited to be partnering with the Carmanah team to support their next phase of growth in pedestrian and traffic safety,” said Steve Sandbo, a partner at Vance Street. “The formation of this platform with Polara and Carmanah is a great example of Vance Street’s strategy of supporting best-in-class management teams through investment to accelerate their technology and product innovation to provide best-in-class solution offerings for critical safety applications.”
Los Angeles-based Vance Street makes control investments in North American-based companies with enterprise values of $30 million to $350 million and EBITDA of $3 million to $30 million. Sectors of interest include medical technology, life sciences, industrial technology, and aerospace & defense. More than 90% of Vance Street’s acquisitions are founder-owned businesses or corporate carve-outs.
In December 2021, Vance Street held a final closing of Vance Street Capital III LP with $432.5 million in commitments, exceeding its target of $375 million. The firm’s earlier fund closed in 2017 with $250 million in capital. Since its founding in 2007, Vance Street has raised $1 billion of committed capital.
Harris Williams was the financial advisor to Vance Street and Polara, and Fort Capital Partners was the financial advisor to Carmanah.
Debt financing for the acquisition of Carmanah was provided by Barings’ Global Private Credit.
© 2022 Private Equity Professional | May 12, 2022