Rotunda Capital has acquired Canter Power Systems, a provider of installation and maintenance services for residential standby power generators.
Canter’s residential backup generator systems typically range from 5 kW to 60 kW and include battery storage systems. The company’s suite of services includes in-home estimates, equipment selection, permitting, installation, testing, start-up, inspection, certification, and ongoing maintenance. According to Canter, it is one of the largest independent installers of home standby power generators in the United States.
Canter partners with multiple national retailers and major utilities and is one of the largest authorized dealers in the United States for Centurion, Eaton, GE, Generac, Guardian, Honeywell, and Kohler standby generators. The company was Home Depot’s largest national residential generator installer since 2007 and was named Home Depot Service Provider of the Year in 2022.
Canter was founded as Canter Electric in 1948 by Ken Canter. The business entered the residential backup generator business in 2002 and changed its name to Canter Power Systems in 2014. Today, the company is headquartered in Greensboro, North Carolina, and operates across multiple states including North and South Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, Florida, Alabama, Texas, and Georgia. Post-closing, Brian Lopatka, a third-generation member of the Canter family, will serve as CEO of Canter.
“We look forward to working alongside the Canter team to expand upon the company’s comprehensive solution capabilities, enter new geographies and product categories, and pursue add-on acquisitions,” said Bob Wickham, a partner at Rotunda.
“I am excited to have found a partner in Rotunda and to transition the business that I have spent my career building, to my son-in-law Brian, and the wonderful team we have collectively built,” said Ken Canter.
“This is an incredible opportunity for the Canter Power Systems family,” said Mr. Lopatka. “From our first meeting, it was clear that Rotunda recognized the foundation and strong culture we have built, and the continued success our company can achieve. Through this partnership, we plan to expand geographically, enter new markets, and continue to support the growth of our longstanding channel partners.”
“This transaction continues Rotunda’s focus on finding unique and valuable family- and founder-led firms using our thematic sourcing approach with our 18th platform investment,” said John Fruehwirth, the managing partner of Rotunda.
Rotunda invests in businesses with enterprise values of $30 million to $150 million. Sectors of interest include asset-light logistics, value-added distribution, specialty finance, and industrial and business services. The firm was founded as an independent sponsor in 2009 and is led by managing partner John Fruehwirth, and partners Dan Lipson, Corey Whisner, and Bob Wickham.
In December 2020, Rotunda closed its debut institutional private equity fund, Rotunda Capital Partners Fund II LP, with more than $195 million of capital commitments. The buy of Canter is the sixth platform investment made by Fund II. In January 2022, Rotunda closed its third fund, Rotunda Capital Partners Fund III LP, with $405 million in capital commitments. Fund III was oversubscribed and closed above its initial target of $295 million.
“Our investment thesis for our buy of Canter is that greater storm activity, decreased electrical grid reliability, and increased loads on home electrical systems will drive adoption of backup generators, as well as solar and battery systems,” said Ryan Aprill, a principal at Rotunda.
Rotunda is headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland with an additional office near Chicago in Evanston, Illinois.
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