CASE STUDY

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Provider of energy efficiency program services

Recapitalization | November, 2007
Exit | October, 2010

Background  

Founded in Port Washington, WI in 1994, Franklin Energy (“Franklin”) provides both utility and government sponsored energy efficiency program services to business and industry. By 2007, Franklin’s founder was seeking personal liquidity, ownership and career opportunities for management, and a limited confidential process with local buyers. Franklin characteristics included: (i) front-runner status with strong regional reputation in a rapidly growing industry; (ii) sales largely driven by legislative mandate; (iii) high level of customer concentration; (iv) entrepreneurial stage business practices with very strong culture; and (v) deep management team anxious to grow business.

Transaction & Post Closing 

In November 2007, Bel Air principals were part of a private equity team that sponsored the recapitalization of Franklin in conjunction with the company’s founder and management. Working with an outside industry consultant, Bel Air's principals and management mapped out an analysis of industry opportunities which was paired with a highly targeted sales strategy. Other post-closing initiatives included: (i) implementing robust IT systems; (ii) deepening management team with a CFO and several other executives; (iii) recruitment of an experienced board member who had parallel growth experience; and (iv) relocation to new headquarters. The initiatives enabled Franklin to win a significant number of new contracts, dramatically expanding the company’s customer base, geographic scope of operations, and employment. In October 2010, Franklin was sold to private equity firm Cortec Group. The transaction provided significant liquidity and ongoing career/ownership opportunities for management.

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