Company Acquisitions: First Reserve obtains Utilities Services Associates

Source:First Reserve

First Reserve, the largest global private equity firm exclusively focused on energy, announced that First Reserve Fund XII, in partnership with management and Michael Lennon, has agreed to acquire Utility Services Associates, Inc. (USA). USA consists of C.W. Wright Construction Company, Incorporated, Booth & Associates, Inc., and Coastal Power & Electric, Inc.  Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.  The transaction is subject to certain regulatory approvals and is expected to close before year-end 2013.

USA has over 60 years of experience in the electrical utility services industry and provides a full range of critical maintenance, repair, rebuild and construction services for power transmission and distribution infrastructure across the Mid-Atlantic and Eastern regions of the United States.  USA also provides design, engineering and storm-related restoration services.  The executive management team will remain in place and will retain an equity interest in the company.

USA is exposed to positive, long-term macro trends in the electric transmission and distribution services industry, where growth in electricity demand has outpaced expansion of the electrical grid’s capacity.  Aging infrastructure and historical under spending has also created a need for increased investment in the electrical grid.  As utilities continue to seek to outsource maintenance, repair and construction services to third-party providers in order to focus on their core operating activities, First Reserve believes Utility Services Associates is well-positioned to capitalize on these trends.

Jay Spruill, CEO of USA, commented, “First Reserve’s investment is an important milestone for our company.  As an employee-owned company since 1999, we’ve grown to become a leading provider of transmission and distribution services in the Mid-Atlantic and Eastern regions.  We believe that the business model and operating expertise that we’ve successfully developed combined with the strategic vision and additional growth capital from First Reserve and Michael Lennon’s experience building similar businesses in the past position us well for continued success in the space.”

Jeff Quake, Managing Director of First Reserve, commented, “We are delighted to partner with the management team of USA and believe this platform is well-positioned for continued growth, both in terms of geography and service type.”

Michael Lennon will join the USA management team.  Prior to joining USA, Mr. Lennon was the President, CEO & Co-founder of InfrastruX Group where he grew the company to become a leader in the utility transmission and distribution services industry. While there, he executed a growth strategy which included 17 acquisitions. 

Mr. Lennon added, “I am extremely excited about the prospect of working alongside the teams at USA and First Reserve to help USA take the next step in its development to become a national leader of utility industry solutions.”

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