Hauser Private Equity, a hybrid private equity fund manager based in Cincinnati, OH, and Dominus Capital, L.P. (Dominus), a leading private equity firm based in New York, executed the sale of BluSky Restoration Contractors (BluSky) to Partners Group, a global private markets firm, and Kohlberg & Company, a New York-based investment firm. Dominus will retain a minority position in the company.
Hauser Private Equity invested directly in the BluSky with fund partner Dominus Capital. Mark Hauser, managing partner at Hauser Private Equity, acted as the deal lead for this co-investment. With nearly 30 years of experience as an investment professional, he oversaw the deal through its entire execution. Additional key players included Harris Williams and William Blair, who served as financial advisors to Dominus Capital, and White & Case LLP, who served as legal counsel for BluSky. The deal will strengthen the position of both Partners Group and Kohlberg & Company.
Headquartered in Denver, CO, BluSky provides commercial, industrial, governmental, residential, and multifamily restoration, renovation, environmental, and roofing services across the United States and Puerto Rico. Its services help restore businesses and properties to pre-loss conditions. The company’s restoration, remediation, environmental, and preventative planning services are essential for customers who experience water, fire, wind, and environmental damage or biological contamination in their buildings.
In 2018, BluSky was acquired by Dominus with Hauser Private Equity co-investment. The intent of the acquisition was to have Dominus management reinvest alongside BluSky management to promote the ongoing growth of the company.
At the time of the acquisition, Kent Stemper, CEO of BluSky, said, “Over the past few months, our executive leadership team interviewed several private equity firms, and, in the end, the team chose exactly the right partner for BluSky, Dominus Capital. For us, our culture is paramount. Dominus clearly understood this. Their expertise in growing middle-market firms and partnering with them on strategic acquisitions is exactly what is needed for us at this stage.”
Ashish Rughwani, the founding partner at Dominus, reported in 2018, “We are looking forward to partnering with Kent and the entire management team at BluSky. We are eager to apply our network and knowledge of the restoration and environmental remediation space to support the company’s strong organic growth potential and pursue add-on acquisitions in adjacent geographies and complementary service offerings.”
Since the acquisition was executed, BluSky has experienced exponential growth.
BluSky CEO Stemper stated: “Over the past three years, in partnership with Dominus, BluSky has experienced tremendous growth.” He continued, “Dominus supported our growth with expertise and capital as we transitioned from a regional restoration company to a leading national provider of restoration, remediation, and environmental services. Additionally, BluSky’s strong company culture reflects our collective investment in our people through genuine caring for and giving back to our employees. This employee-first culture has created an environment to best serve our customers. Our entire management team thanks Dominus for its support in this transformational journey.”
BluSky’s engaged employees bring experience and teamwork to anyone who owns or manages the property, provides property insurance, or manages property insurance claims. As a company, it has continuously committed itself to create exceptional customer experience through its actions, teamwork, and genuine caring for customers’ personal needs. Its values have contributed to BluSky’s 96 Proof philosophy – 96% of clients say, “I would hire BluSky again.”
“Dominus assisted [Stemper] and his highly talented management team in several key initiatives. Expanding the sales organization and operations team allowed the company to both add new accounts as well as add greenfield locations in adjacent markets. At the same time, we completed six major acquisitions [that] enabled the company to further build its service offerings and expand its geographic reach. The combination of these initiatives allowed BluSky to become a truly national player, providing [its] highly loyal clients with time-critical and essential restoration services across the country,” said Rughwani. “BluSky is poised for significant, continued growth under the ownership of Partners Group and Kohlberg & Company.”
Gary Binning, the founding managing partner of Dominus Capital, added, “The BluSky story is very similar to many other Dominus investments, where both organic and acquisition growth are part of the strategy. BluSky was a high-performing, market-leader with tremendous potential when we acquired it in 2018. With the resources that we brought, BluSky grew more than four-fold in the last three years.”
The sale of BluSky was executed in October 2021, and the acquisition marks a success for both Partners Group and Kohlberg & Company. It has notably contributed to the ongoing goals of both firms.
Partners Group focuses on thematic investing: “Thematic investing is [the company’s] proprietary and systematic approach to identifying the most attractive transformational investment opportunities for [its] clients. [The] approach begins with three overriding investment giga themes, [including digitization and automation, new living, and decarbonization], that lead to many significant transformative trends and, ultimately, to hundreds of material sector themes that drive change at the company and asset level.” This approach has delivered the firm sustainable double-digit EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) across its portfolio and underpins its track record of investment outperformance.
Kohlberg & Company focuses on value creation that “involves partnering with management to execute transformational strategies that enhance business efficiency, breadth, growth and scale. The specifics of these strategies are identified and quantified in due diligence and incorporated into a strategic plan [that] is implemented following the closing of the transaction. A core tenet of [its] success in augmenting growth and profit in businesses is the consistency with which [it] executes optimization strategies across [its] target industry sectors.”
Overview of Transaction Partners
About Dominus Capital
Based in New York, Dominus Capital is a leading middle-market private equity investment firm that focuses on management-led buyouts and growth capital investments in companies in the business services, light manufacturing, and consumer sectors. Drawing on the experience, knowledge, and network of its founders, and a team of in-house operating executives, Dominus Capital works hand-in-hand with exceptional management teams to unlock the untapped potential of its portfolio companies. The firm takes a long-term and conservative approach to investing and has a consistent and successful track record of achieving significant growth at its portfolio companies. Dominus Capital team members have executed more than 50 transactions over the past 20+ years.
About Partners Group
Partners Group is a large, independent investment firm that is dedicated to private markets. Aligned with its clients, the company provides bespoke solutions to institutional investors, sovereign wealth funds, family offices, and private investors globally. With more than 1,500 employees, including more than 500 private markets investment professionals, across 20 offices, its global footprint is built on the deep experience and expertise of local teams. The company reports being among the most consistently top-performing firms in private markets globally. It seeks to deliver sustainable performance across economic cycles by focusing on three key pillars: transformational investing, bespoke client solutions, and stakeholder impact.
About Kohlberg & Company
Kohlberg & Company is a leading private equity firm with over 30 years of successful experience executing transformational strategies. The company’s investment focuses on middle-market companies characterized by strong brands, recurring revenue streams, and leading market positions that offer attractive platforms for long-term growth and profit optimization. Its investment team is supported by highly talented and experienced finance and operations professionals.
About Hauser Private Equity
Hauser Private Equity is a Cincinnati-based hybrid private equity fund management firm. Founded in 2008, the company is an outgrowth of the highly successful Hauser Capital Partners. Hauser Private Equity focuses on direct co-investments in the lower-middle to the middle-market range. More specifically, Hauser tends to form collaborative partnerships with control buyout funds. Other beneficial partners include managers of growth equity, subordinated debt, or special situation funds. Hauser Private Equity’s co-investment partners generally include funds ranging from $250 million to $2 billion. Ideal partner candidates are North American-based funds with investment models that provide operational leadership to similarly domiciled portfolio businesses.