Gryphon’s HEPACO Acquires PetroChem

Gryphon’s HEPACO Acquires PetroChem

HEPACO, a portfolio company of Gryphon Investors since August 2016, has acquired PetroChem Recovery Services from Succession Capital Partners.

PetroChem provides environmental consulting and remediation services to large industrial, government agencies, small business and residential clients located in the Mid-Atlantic region of the US.

The company’s services include emergency response to spill incidents in addition to hazardous material stabilization and packaging, facility decontamination, and hazardous waste transportation and disposal. PetroChem is headquartered in Norfolk, VA (

HEPACO is a provider of emergency response, environmental remediation, maritime services, wastewater treatment, and other industrial services across a range of end markets including rail, oil & gas, transportation, power & utility, and manufacturing. The company provides services on both an emergency response and planned basis and in 2017 completed more than 6,500 projects.

HEPACO has 40 locations across more than 40 locations in the Mid-Atlantic, Midwest, Northeast, and Southeast United States and offers a three-hour or less response time within its footprint and on a national basis through its managed network of third-party emergency response vendors. The company, led by CEO Ken Smith, was founded in 1984 and is headquartered in Charlotte (

The buy of PetroChem is the fourth add-on acquisition completed by HEPACO under Gryphon’s ownership. The earlier transactions were the December 2018 buy of Cleveland-based Environmental Management Specialists, a provider of emergency response, remediation, and environmental services; the October 2018 buy of Trans Environmental, a provider of environmental and emergency response services headquartered near Rockford in Loves Park, IL; and the November 2017 buy of Emergency Response & Training Solutions, a Jacksonville, FL-based provider of emergency response services to Fortune 500 companies through a national network of third-party vendors.

“We are excited to continue our successful acquisition strategy with the PetroChem transaction,” said Phil Petrocelli, a Gryphon operating partner. “We anticipate continuing HEPACO’s expansion through new geographies and greater coverage density in attractive markets.”

Gryphon makes leveraged acquisitions and growth investments in middle-market companies. The firm invests from $50 million to $200 million of capital in companies with sales from $100 million to $500 million. Sectors of interest include business services, consumer and retail, automotive, chemical, general manufacturing, healthcare and hotels.

Gryphon closed its fourth private equity buyout fund, Gryphon IV LP, in November 2016 at $1.1 billion, and raised a $100 million captive mezzanine fund, Gryphon Mezzanine Partners LP, in August 2017. Gryphon Investors is based in San Francisco (

Succession Capital and ARC Industries, an investment firm based in Charlotte, acquired PetroChem in March 2014 from owners and founders, Becky, Joe and Eric Fenska. During Succession’s hold of PetroChem, the company more than doubled revenue. “PetroChem’s stellar environmental team and premium customer service, provided us the foundation to build PetroChem into an environmental leader in Hampton Roads,” said former PetroChem CEO and Succession Capital Managing Partner, Matt Malone. “We believe that HEPACO is the ideal company to facilitate the next phase of growth for PetroChem and its employees, and will allow the company to continue to provide best in class service to its customers, far into the future.”

Succession Capital makes control investments from $3 million to $30 million in companies that have EBITDA from $750,000 to $7 million. Sectors of interest include industrial, consumer and general services. The firm was founded in 2009 and has offices in Norfolk, VA and Charlotte, NC (

© 2019 Private Equity Professional | January 22, 2019

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