Five Points Capital (formerly known as BB&T Capital Partners) has sold its portfolio company Unishippers Global Logistics (Unishippers), a provider of third party logistics services to small and medium-sized businesses, to Ridgemont Equity Partners. Five Points acquired Unishippers in 2007 through its second equity fund.
Unishippers’ has experienced strong growth recently with revenue doubling since 2010. The company offers small package and heavy freight services, including less than truckload, full truckload and air freight through about 300 franchise locations and affiliates across the United States. Unishippers’ services are provided through partnerships with over 30 regional and national shipping carriers, including UPS, YRC Freight, Estes, Saia and UPS Freight. Unishippers was founded in 1987 and is headquartered in Salt Lake City (www.unishippers.com).
Five Points invests in equity and subordinated debt in lower middle market buyout, acquisition, growth and recapitalization transactions as a control investor on a standalone basis or as a co-investor with other financial sponsors. Sectors of interest include business, healthcare and industrial services, niche manufacturing, value-added distribution and education and training.
BB&T Capital Partners rebranded itself as Five Points Capital in August 2015 to better reflect the firm’s investment platform and investor base. The firm has been the investment advisor and manager of the BB&T Capital Partners funds since 1997. Five Points continues to invest from BB&T Capital Partners III, a $229 million fund raised in 2013, and manages the portfolio of BB&T Capital Partners II, a $152 million fund raised in 2007. Five Points is now investing out of its Five Points Mezzanine fund, and the Five Points Small Buyout Strategies fund-of-funds.
Five Points is led by its four managing partners David Townsend, Martin Gilmore, Christopher Jones, and Thomas Westbrook. The firm is headquartered in Winston-Salem, NC (www.fivepointscapital.com).
“We are extremely pleased with the results of our investment in Unishippers,” said Mr. Westbrook. “We originally backed the executive team in a management buyout when they took over the leadership reigns from the company’s founders. Since that time, management has executed on their business plan and delivered an outstanding return to all investors. We congratulate them for a job well done and are confident they will achieve continuing success in their new partnership with Ridgemont.”
“We are appreciative of the team at Five Points Capital for the strategic guidance and financial support they provided throughout their investment,” said Kevin Lathrop, President of Unishippers. “They were a valuable partner to management and helped the company achieve its objectives and drive a successful outcome for everyone involved.”
Ridgemont Equity Partners (formerly Banc of America Capital Investors) focuses on middle market buyout and growth equity investments of $25 million to $100 million. The firm invests in the following sectors: basic industries and services; energy; healthcare; and telecommunications/media/technology. Ridgemont Equity Partners was founded in 1993 and has invested approximately $3.5 billion in 119 companies. The firm is headquartered in Charlotte (www.ridgemontep.com).
“Logistics has been a core focus area for Ridgemont over the past several years and we’re very pleased to partner with the management team of Unishippers,” said Rob Edwards, a Partner at Ridgemont. “The company is well positioned for continued growth through utilization of its market leading technology, strong national franchise network and strategic carrier relationships to provide the most attractive shipping options for small and medium-sized businesses.”
Financing for the transaction was provided by Antares (www.antarescapital.com), NXT Capital (www.nxtcapital.com) and TIAA-CREF (www.tiaa-cref.org). Piper Jaffray & Co. (www.piperjaffray.com) was the financial advisor to Unishippers. K&L Gates (www.klgates.com) was Ridgemont’s legal counsel and Moore & Van Allen (www.mvalaw.com) served as Five Points’ legal counsel.
Editor’s note: TIAA-CREF stands for Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association – College Retirement Equities Fund.. In April 2015 TIAA-CREF launched Churchill Asset Management, a majority-owned subsidiary that originates, underwrites and manages senior loan investments primarily in US-based middle-market companies. Churchill Asset Management is led by the former senior management team of Churchill Financial which was acquired by The Carlyle Group in November 2011. TIAA-CREF was founded in 1918 by Andrew Carnegie and is headquartered in New York
© 2015 PEPD • Private Equity’s Leading News Magazine • 10-23-15