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RFE backed ZRG Partners Acquires Brimstone Consulting Group

ZRG Partners, a rapidly growing global talent advisory firm, recently announced their acquisition of Brimstone Consulting Group, LLC. a boutique strategy consulting firm. Based out of Camden, ME, Brimstone Consulting is a specialist consulting firm who partners with their clients in building a strategy blueprint for rapid CEO success after leadership transitions. Brimstone’s methodology aligns leadership goals with business capabilities at all levels to change the way work gets done and energize the change-makers. Their key focus areas include business acceleration; change enablement; culture change; executive coaching; leadership development; leadership team alignment; organizational alignment; diversity, equity, and inclusion; and post-merger execution.

“The complementary nature of our businesses made Brimstone an obvious partner for ZRG, as we continue to expand our portfolio of talent advisory solutions,” says Larry Hartmann, CEO of ZRG. “Further insuring a new CEO is successful with the proven process of Brimstone will create a new paridym for CEO transitions. We are pleased that we can now address two critical areas of leadership to align success for our clients with both strategy work and culture work. We believe when a company aligns strategy and culture with the right talent, amazing success can be achieved and our offerings now address these three core areas.”

Prior to the Brimstone acquisition, ZRG has been actively involved in expanding and diversifying their talent management offerings. They have recently acquired top culture consultation firm Walking The Talk, as well as entertainment industry search and consulting firm Sucherman Group. ZRG’s organic growth continues across the UK and EU in both retained search, on-demand talent solutions and consulting.

G2 Capital Advisors served as exclusive buy-side advisor to ZRG Partners on the successful transaction.

About ZRG
ZRG is a global talent advisory firm that is changing the way companies hire and manage talent. ZRG’s data driven approach to executive and professional search has been changing the way clients think about how to find top talent. The company’s digital Zi platform combines talent intelligence, candidate insights, and process improvement to dramatically deliver executive searches quicker and with proven better results. Today, with the help of private equity investor RFE Investment Partners, ZRG is among the fastest growing firms in the search industry and provides a full suite of retained search, on-demand talent, and consulting and advisory solutions across the Americas, Asia, Europe, and Australia.

About G2 Capital Advisors
G2 Capital Advisors provides M&A, capital markets and restructuring advisory services to the middle market. We offer integrated, multi-product and sector-focused services by pairing highly experienced C-level executives with specialist investment bankers. We aspire to be the trusted advisor of choice to our clients including corporations and institutional investors.

About RFE
RFE Investment Partners is a private equity firm focused on making control investments in established small market companies located in the United States. RFE is a long-standing Connecticut-based firm founded in 1980 with over 40 years of experience investing in the lower middle market. RFE’s investment strategy is to transform its portfolio companies from the lower end of the market to fully professionalized and market leading middle market companies. RFE is currently investing out of Fund IX. For more information, please visit www.rfeip.com

January 3, 2022
RFE backed Friendly Group Acquires Home Services Company Western Heating & Air Transaction Marks Growth Potential to Serve More Utah HVAC Customers

RFE backed Friendly Group Acquires Home Services Company Western Heating & Air Transaction Marks Growth Potential to Serve More Utah HVAC Customers

RFE Investment Partners is pleased to announce that its portfolio company, Friendly Group, a home services company, recently announced its acquisition of Western Heating & Air, a heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) company with branches in both Orem and Lehi, Utah. The addition of Western Heating & Air makes this Friendly Group’s third home services company in Utah.

As part of Friendly Group, Western will be positioned to accelerate and extend its mission to serve its community with exceptional home comfort service. Western Heating & Air will continue to operate under the Western brand, driving forward with a steady focus on its mission, customers, and community. Owner Ryan Snow will continue at the helm of the operations in partnership with Friendly Group.

“I am thrilled to welcome Ryan Snow, his leadership team, and the entire Western family to the Friendly Group. The Red Handkerchief Promise is so much more than a tag line—it’s a symbol of a culture that runs deep in every man and woman who wears that logo,” said Joe Bergman, CEO, Friendly Group. “We are excited to add this third strong brand to our Northern Utah region and about the growth opportunities we have together, to build on an already-strong legacy. On behalf of our entire team, welcome to the pack!”

About Western Heating & Air
Western Heating & Air is a home services HVAC company serving the Orem and Lehi, Utah, areas. Their primary services extend from heating and cooling to indoor air quality to solar panels. Western’s team is the proud recipient of the Best of Utah Valley Award for five years in a row. For more information, please visit www.westernheatingair.com

About Friendly Group
Friendly Group is a Home Services Company focused on building a network of like-minded companies in the home services industry that share the vision and values that, at their core, focus on their employees. Friendly Group is a Texas-based firm that was established in 2020 with a best-in-class management team, board of directors, and advisors, all working together to execute on a strategy that is distinctly different because it’s Friendly. Friendly Group’s strategy is to provide mentorship, direction, resources, and the capital required to take companies’ strategic initiatives to the level. Friendly Group is continuing to expand their presence across the US, building a network of leading HVAC, Plumbing, and Electrical home services companies. For more in formation, please visit www.friendlygroup.com

About RFE
RFE Investment Partners is a private equity firm focused on making control investments in established small market companies located in the United States. RFE is a long-standing Connecticut-based firm founded in 1980 with over 40 years of experience investing in the lower middle market. RFE’s investment strategy is to transform its portfolio companies from the lower end of the market to fully professionalized and market leading middle market companies. RFE is currently investing out of Fund IX. For more information, please visit www.rfeip.com

November 22, 2021
RFE backed ThreeBridge Solutions and Keyot Merge to Create a Refreshingly Innovative Consulting Model

The lines between IT and business have blurred. The merger of ThreeBridge Solutions and Keyot gives businesses throughout the midwest and southeastern U.S. a single consulting partner that understands and serves both sides of their organizations, providing real and more efficient solutions.

It’s a move as satisfying as snapping the final piece into a jigsaw puzzle. The new firm, operating under the ThreeBridge brand, combines the complementary strengths and shared core values of ThreeBridge Solutions, a strategic provider of business and IT consulting solutions, and Keyot, a boutique consulting firm specializing in project delivery, workforce transformation and management consulting.

“We are two really great companies using our shared workforce with a common mission of solving our clients’ problems,” says ThreeBridge Founder and CEO Jim Kelly. He likens this business model to three concentric circles solving an unmet need. “We offer consultative thought leadership supported by flexible engagement models that meet our clients where they are; the third circle is building our own supply chain of talent. No other consulting company can offer all of this.”

Adds ThreeBridge Chief Integrator and former Keyot CEO Laura Gorman, “Our ultimate goal is to enable our clients, not to create dependence on us. Most of our clients are going through transformation and looking to us to lead them through organizational changes. Instead of our services being siloed into just IT or operations, we can now give them exactly what they need by offering collective solutions to their entire organizations.” To learn more about ThreeBridge Solutions’ innovative approach to consulting and supporting their consultants and communities, visit www.ThreeBridge.com.

About ThreeBridge Solutions
ThreeBridge Solutions is a national provider of talent, training, and advice within their core solutions: Business Transformation, Enterprise Systems, Digital Innovation, Smart Data, and Crew, junior talent development. Nationally, ThreeBridge has 1,000+ consultants across 150 clients, and is growing rapidly by building new capabilities and expanding geographies.

About Keyot
Keyot, a boutique consulting firm, focuses on putting together the right team of senior and junior talent specifically for each clients’ unique work environment. Every project focuses on enablement, not dependency, with a mix of core solutions: Agile and product transformation, strategic staffing, future workforce, compliance remediation, management consulting and training academy.

About RFE
RFE Investment Partners is a private equity firm focused on making control investments in established small market companies located in the United States. RFE is a long-standing Connecticut-based firm founded in 1980 with over 40 years of experience investing in the lower middle market. RFE’s investment strategy is to transform its portfolio companies from the lower end of the market to fully professionalized and market leading middle market companies. RFE is currently investing out of Fund IX. For more information, please visit www.rfeip.com

September 23, 2021
RFE Backed Trident Motion Announces the Acquisition of AllMotion, Inc.

RFE Investment Partners is pleased to announce that its portfolio company, Trident Motion Technologies, recently completed the acquisition of AllMotion, Inc. AllMotion is a recognized leader in the design and manufacturing of servo and stepper controls to a wide range of industries and will be part of Trident’s American Control Electronics (“ACE”) division. “The addition of AllMotion is a strong strategic addition to ACE’s control technology bandwidth, bringing Servo, Stepper, and complex motion capability to our growing product suite. Alongside our existing AC, DC, and EC control products, we’re very pleased to offer this expanded capability” said ACE President Dan Schnabel

“We’re happy to join forces with ACE, and take advantage of their existing brand, channel, and presence in the control market, and offer our motion expertise with their broad range of power capability” said David Goodin, one of the founders of AllMotion.

About Trident Motion Technologies:
Trident Motion Technologies is a global powered motion solutions provider, including AC and DC motors, gearmotors and electronic drives; with engineering, sales and production capabilities both in the US, and in company owned operations in China. This allows Trident Motion to offer local support and responsiveness to our customers, while also providing the advantage of global quality systems and cost competitiveness. Trident Motion was formed by combining the capabilities of several strong US based businesses; HTI Technology, American Control Electronics, and Klauber Machine & Gear.

About RFE
RFE Investment Partners is a private equity firm focused on making control investments in established small market companies located in the United States. RFE is a long-standing Connecticut based firm founded in 1980 with over 40 years of experience investing in the lower middle market. RFE’s investment strategy is to transform its portfolio companies from the lower end of the market to fully professionalized and market leading middle market companies. RFE is currently investing out of Fund IX. For more information, please visit
www.rfeip.com

September 23, 2021
RFE backed ZRG acquires leading culture consulting firm Walking The Talk

RFE Investment Partners portfolio company ZRG Partners – a human capital services company recognized as one of the industry’s fastest growing firms – today announced the acquisition of Walking the Talk, a top consulting and advisory firm focused on culture transformation.

Walking the Talk is a world leader in enhancing performance results by aligning culture with strategy. Since the company started 11 years ago, culture has landed firmly on the agenda of most executive teams and boards of directors. As pioneers in this field, understanding the impact culture has on growth, performance and reputation, Walking the Talk has grown to become the largest consulting firm solely focused on the culture agenda. The firm operates globally and has supported clients on dozens of engagements, which can last anywhere from a few months to a few years.
“Hiring top talent that aligns with a clients culture objective has been a key success factor for ZRG. With the addition of Walking the Talk, we will expand our consulting and talent solutions capabilities, helping our clients address challenging topics like change management and culture transformation,” said Larry Hartmann, CEO of ZRG.

“Walking the Talk’s intellectual property developed by Carolyn Taylor and the team will enhance our ability to understand, measure and assess culture contribution at multiple levels,” he added. “We see great power in the combination of our two businesses.”

ZRG has already begun incorporating Walking the Talk’s intellectual property and cultural insights into its Zi platform. This new and improved combined toolkit enables ZRG to bring more rigor, more data and more thoughtfulness to each client’s hiring decisions.”

Hunt Scanlon Ventures facilitated the introduction of ZRG Partners and Walking The Talk.

About Walking the Talk
For over a decade Walking the Talk has grown to become the preeminent firm in the field of culture advisory. The firm services a wide range of clients focusing exclusively on culture and how leaders can use culture to influence and drive business performance. Through the application of its proprietary tools and intellectual property Walking the Talk has made a tremendous impact on its clients helping them navigate day to day interactions as well as transformative business events. Service lines such as target culture mapping, culture surveys, diagnostics and other capabilities allow Walking the Talk to repeatedly deliver the very best advisory solutions to its clients on every engagement.

About ZRG
Over the past four years, ZRG has been the leader in top line growth and increasing market share through its talented workforce and its investments in industry leading innovations and talent acquisition tools supporting its clients in making better informed and timely talent decisions. The proprietary collaborative Zi platform with its integrated Z Score, Compensation Tools, Interview Insights, and Culture Fit Score have accelerated the hiring process more than 30% with better decision making. Since 1999, ZRG’s data-driven approach to executive and professional search has changed the way its clients think about acquiring top talent. For over 20 years, clients have trusted ZRG to recruit top talent around the world. Today, ZRG is recognized as the fastest-growing global search firm and provides a full suite of retained executive management and customized talent solutions through its locations in North America, South America, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia.

About RFE
RFE Investment Partners is a private equity firm focused on making control investments in established small market companies located in the United States. RFE is a long-standing Connecticut-based firm founded in 1980 with over 40 years of experience investing in the lower middle market. RFE’s investment strategy is to transform its portfolio companies from the lower end of the market to fully professionalized and market leading middle market companies. RFE is currently investing out of Fund IX. For more information, please visit www.rfeip.com.

RFE Investment Partners
36 Grove St
New Canaan, CT, 06840
(203) 966-2800
www.rfeip.com

July 12, 2021
RFE Investment Partners and Veransa Group Launch Florida-based Organic Recycling Platform

Seffner, Florida – July 1, 2021

Veransa Group, Inc. – a newly formed company formed by Marc Owensby, Roger Johansson, and RFE Investment Partners –has acquired Consolidated Resource Recovery, Inc. (“CRR”) – the largest and oldest yard waste collection and recycling network in Florida, and Florida Organic Solutions, Inc. (“FOS”) – a leading Florida-based organic compost manufacturer.

The acquisition of both CRR and FOS creates a leading, vertically integrated, green-waste organic recycling compost manufacturer in Florida. Veransa vertically integrates green waste collection centers with commodities manufacturing facilities to achieve highest-value use, waste-to-organic commodities production. Veransa aggregates green waste and transforms it, using electrically powered processing equipment, into useful products on an industrial scale, including soil-regenerating, OMRI Listed® organic compost and blended soils, and processes wood waste into the feedstock for decorative mulch and renewable energy.

“CRR is the most successful and respected green waste collections and processing company in Florida, and FOS is one of the most trusted organic compost manufacturers. We are thrilled to have them as part of our group,” said Marc Owensby, CEO of Veransa Group Inc.

“By combining FOS with CRR we will be able to unlock value and generate efficiencies that will transform the urban wood and yard waste industry in Florida,” added Roger Johansson, Exec. Chairman of the company.

Douglas Halward, President of CRR noted, “CRR looks forward to being a meaningful driver of growth as part of the Veransa Group.” Mr. Halward will remain President of CRR as well as becoming a shareholder and Board Member of the Veransa Group.

Veransa Group is an Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) portfolio company of RFE Investment Partners – a Connecticut-based private equity firm.
“We are thrilled to partner with the Veransa team on this exciting venture that is a perfect match with RFE’s investment strategy,” said Michael Rubel, Managing Director at RFE.

Veransa will continue to expand its vertical integration strategy with the development and acquisition of additional collection centers and organic compost manufacturing facilities throughout Florida.

Middlemarch Partners served as the investment banking advisor for Veransa Group, Inc.

About Veransa
Based in the Tampa-bay region of Florida, Veransa specializes in transforming urban wood and yard waste into valuable commodities on an industrial scale. Veransa vertically integrates green waste collection centers with commodities manufacturing facilities to achieve highest-value use, waste-to-organic commodities, production. Veransa aggregates green waste and transforms it, using electrically powered processing equipment, into useful products on an industrial scale, including soil-regenerating, OMRI Listed®, organic compost and blended soils, that are free of biosolids or manure. It also processes wood waste into the feedstock for mulch and renewable energy.

July 1, 2021
RFE Investment Partners Hires New Vice President James Karle

New Canaan, CT – July 1, 2021

RFE Investment Partners has hired James Karle to join the firm as a Vice President on the investment team.

Prior to joining RFE, Mr. Karle served as a Senior Associate with KPS Capital Partners. Prior to KPS, Mr. Karle was a Senior Associate with High Road Capital Partners focused on lower middle market transactions. Mr. Karle’s experience is across multiple industries, including manufacturing, distribution, and business services.

Mr. Karle received his MBA from the NYU Stern School of Business and his BS from Boston College.

“It is a pleasure to welcome James to RFE” said Michael Foster, Senior Managing Director at RFE.

“James brings extensive private equity execution experience to the RFE team and has a style and culture that fits perfectly with RFE and our portfolio companies”, said Michael Rubel, Managing Director at RFE. “We are confident that his skills will prove valuable in helping RFE thoughtfully partner with and grow small market companies.”

James’ role will include deal origination, assessing new investment opportunities, leading due diligence efforts, and managing portfolio company investments. James is currently active on GlobalIFS (RFE VIII company) as well as RFE IX companies: ZRG Partners, Friendly Home Services, and Veransa Holdings – where James will serve on the Board of Directors.

About RFE Investment Partners:
RFE Investment Partners is a private equity firm focused on making control investments in established small market companies located in the United States. RFE is a long-standing Connecticut-based firm founded in 1980 with over 40 years of experience investing in the lower middle market. RFE’s investment strategy is to transform its portfolio companies from the lower end of the market to fully professionalized and market leading middle market companies. RFE is currently investing out of Fund IX. For more information, please visit www.rfeip.com.

RFE Investment Partners Sells PCX Aerosystems to Greenbriar Equity

Newington, CT – April 26, 2021

RFE Investment Partners (“RFE”), in partnership with 24/6 Capital Partners, has sold its portfolio company, PCX Aerosystems, LLC (“PCX” or the “Company”), to Greenbriar Equity Group, LP. (“Greenbriar”). As part of the acquisition, PCX completed the recently announced acquisition of Senior Operations LLC (“Senior Aerospace Connecticut”). The PCX management team will continue to lead the newly formed organization.

About PCX Aerosystems
PCX is a leading provider of flight-critical, life-limited, dynamic components and systems for demanding aerospace applications from facilities located in Newington and Enfield, CT. PCX manufactures complex structural hard alloy components and assemblies for military and commercial aircraft, with products including rotor hubs, tail rotor forks, drive shafts, and gearbox housings sold to OEM customers, including Boeing, Bell Helicopter, Sikorsky, GE, and the Department of Defense.

RFE acquired PCX in 2014 as a legacy division of SPX Corporation (NYSE: SPXC). Throughout its hold period, RFE and PCX installed key senior leadership and management team members, significantly invested in capital and facility improvements, refocused business development efforts, introduced cost saving measures and consolidated operations, and created an institutionalized metrics-based management through ERP and system upgrades.  Concurrently with the sale, PCX further expanded its market leadership and manufacturing capabilities through the acquisition of Senior Aerospace Connecticut, a supplier of complementary rotorhead and transmission component offerings.

RFE and management worked seamlessly to build a proven acquisition platform with a unique production capability and comprehensive product portfolio, resulting in significant value creation and a successful sale process.

About RFE Investment Partners
RFE Investment Partners is a private equity firm focused on making control investments in established small market companies located in the United States. RFE is a long-standing Connecticut-based firm founded in 1980 with over 40 years of experience investing in the lower middle market. RFE’s investment strategy is to transform its portfolio companies from the lower end of the market to fully professionalized and market leading middle market companies.   RFE is currently investing out of Fund IX. For more information, please visit www.rfeip.com.

RFE Investment Partners
36 Grove St
New Canaan, CT, 06840
(203) 966-2800
www.rfeip.com

June 10, 2021
RFE Investment Partners Sells JSI to LSI Industries

New Canaan, CT – May 21, 2021

RFE Investment Partners (“RFE”), in partnership with MTN Capital Partners (“MTN”), has sold its portfolio company, JSI (or the “Company”), to LSI Industries (“LSI”).

Headquartered in Milo, Maine, JSI is a market-leading provider of retail commercial display solutions throughout North America. For more than 30 years, JSI has supplied major supermarket, convenience and specialty store chains with branded display solutions focused on enhancing the customer experience and driving store revenue. Multi-year growth in demand for fresh foods, prepared “grab-and-go” meals and evolving consumer purchasing habits have led to increased demand for JSI’s displays across a deep base of established national accounts. JSI’s solutions are designed, engineered, manufactured and marketed from four facilities located throughout the United States and Canada.

RFE, MTN, and management worked together to execute four add-on acquisitions, grow revenue more than 2.5x, launch a major, rapidly growing refrigeration line. RFE and MTN also worked with management to successfully expand into the convenience store channel, culminating in significant value creation and a successful sale process.

About RFE Investment Partners
RFE Investment Partners is a private equity firm making control investments in established, small market companies located in the United States. RFE is a long-standing Connecticut-based firm founded in 1980 with over 40 years of experience investing in the lower middle market. RFE’s investment strategy is to transform its portfolio companies from the lower end of the market to fully professionalized and market leading middle market companies. RFE is currently investing out of Fund IX. For more information, please visit www.rfeip.com.

About MTN Capital Partners
MTN Capital Partners focuses on acquiring middle-market companies. MTN has extensive experience working with management teams in a variety of industries and in bringing the capital as well as the operational resources needed to achieve success. MTN and its associated investors have invested approximately $160 million in equity in eleven platform transactions with a total enterprise value in excess of $500 million.

RFE Investment Partners
36 Grove St
New Canaan, CT, 06840
(203) 966-2800
www.rfeip.com

May 21, 2021
RFE backed SQUAN Expands with Acquisition of ElecComm

SQUAN, an industry leader specializing in telecommunications design/build services for network infrastructure, recently completed the acquisition of ElecComm (ECC), an electric and communications line construction company, based in Wilmington, Massachusetts, known for its commitment and emphasis on safety and quality control. The two companies have begun the process of integrating their operations and services to provide enhanced services for the electric utility and telecommunications infrastructure sectors throughout New England and New York.

“The convergence of power and telecom infrastructure is inevitable. In joining SQUAN, we see a clear path for ECC to support the company’s position as a smart infrastructure services leader,” said Sean Martin, President of ElecComm. “My father, Steve Martin and I have built a solid foundation at ElecComm. The SQUAN acquisition takes our vision to a higher level, adding greater depth of resources across a broader base of clients”.

About SQUAN
SQUAN combines its unique and in-depth knowledge of network engineering and fiber construction to solve complex and evolving telecommunications problems around macro networks, small-cell, DAS, 5G, IoT and smart cities for wireless, wireline and enterprise customers. SQUAN is focused on the evolution of communications networks of all types and how new technologies are changing the landscape of infrastructure.  For more information visit: www.squan.com, or contact SQUAN’s Head of Strategy, Keith Pennachio at kpennachio@squan.com.

About ElecComm
ElecComm (ECC) is one of the largest 24×7 underground and overhead high/low voltage electric and communications line construction companies in New England. ECC’s storm response team is available 24×7 for both overhead and underground emergency outages bringing power back to life for customers.

About RFE
RFE Investment Partners is a private equity firm focused on making control investments in established small market companies located in North America. RFE is a long standing Connecticut-based firm founded in 1980 with over 40 years of experience investing in the lower middle market. RFE’s investment strategy is to acquire well-managed and growing small market companies at attractive prices and prepare them for exit to middle market strategic and private equity acquirers. RFE is currently investing out of Fund IX. For more information, please visit www.rfeip.com.

April 29, 2021