Merger Solidifies Houston-Based Platform Growth Strategy
Houston, TX (March 29, 2023) – Evolution Strategy Partners (“Evolution”) announced the addition of Champions Hydro-Lawn (“Champions” or the “Company”) to the Westco Green Industry platform. Champions and Westco together now serve over 500 commercial and municipal customers across the greater Houston market with maintenance, enhancement, rehabilitation, and erosion control work with over 450 dedicated personnel. This combination further strengthens the organization’s strategy to create a leader providing similar services in the central Texas market.
Champions, founded in 1976, is the leading commercial erosion control and turf establishment specialist serving Municipal Utility Districts (“MUDs”) and commercial developers in the greater-Houston market. The Company offers a full range of services including: mowing, handwork, overseeding, fertilization, irrigation, rehabilitation, storm water pipe replacement and other essential services for MUDs, HOAs, municipalities, corporate properties, and other commercial clients.
Shea Walker will continue his leadership role as General Manager – along with the entire talented Champions team – together with Manny González, Westco/Champions Chief Executive Officer. Stated Manny González, “The partnership between these two significant leaders in their respective fields will provide a ‘one stop shop’ for our clients. I am also delighted with the opportunity to work with Shea and his professional and experienced team to continue our efforts to establish a unique customer-oriented platform.”
“We were looking for a respectable and fitting home for Champions where we knew both cultural fit and the highest customer service standards would be respected and upheld while the team could build upon an already solid foundation to contribute and grow – and I knew we found that when working with the Westco and Evolution team throughout the process” stated Lou Triche, Champions founder. Mr. Triche will remain with the combined organization in a consulting role.
Noted Stenning Schueppert, Managing Partner of Evolution, “adding Champions to the Westco platform is a wonderful strategic and cultural fit. Both companies have a strong commitment to provide quality services to their customer base. Westco is very strong in precision and ‘finish’ mowing and Champions is the preferred maintenance service provider for MUDs’ drainage facilities. Together we can provide an unparalleled breadth of services to both our loyal customer bases while expanding geographic breadth and reach. We are honored, as well, to bring the Champions organization into the mix – their commitment to service, true results, and value-added solutions to their customers is remarkable.”
Equity for the transaction was provided by Evolution, Gemini Investors, and Genesis Park. Credit facilities were provided by Enterprise Bank & Trust and Genesis Park. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Morgan, Lewis & Bockius and GulfStar Group advised on the transaction.
About Gemini Investors
Founded in 1993, Gemini (www.gemini-investors.com) is a Massachusetts-based investor in lower middle market private companies. Since inception, Gemini has invested over $850 million in more than 150 companies throughout the U.S. Currently investing Gemini Investors VI, L.P., the firm seeks established businesses and experienced management teams that have a solid operating history and significant growth potential. Gemini’s target portfolio company has revenues of $5 to $50 million and EBITDA of at least $1 million.
About Enterprise Bank & Trust
Enterprise Bank & Trust (www.enterprisebank.com) is a growing financial services partner focused on guiding people to a lifetime of financial success. We empower privately held businesses to succeed, helping families to secure their financial futures, and invest to advance the quality of life for the communities we serve. Enterprise is built on trusted, personal relationships and offers a range of business and personal banking services, wealth management services and a variety of specialized banking services. The Sponsor Finance team, a division of the bank’s Specialty Banking group, is a dedicated senior leveraged finance division that partners with private equity sponsors, mezzanine lenders, SBICs, family offices and independent sponsors in support of mergers, acquisitions and recapitalizations. The team manages more than $1 billion in current commitments provided to 90+ companies. Industries served include business services, distribution, manufacturing, industrial, healthcare, and technology services, among others.
About Genesis Park
Genesis Park (www.genesis-park.com) is a Houston-based private credit and equity investment firm. Its current investment fund, GP Capital Partners, LP, is licensed as a Small Business Investment Company (“SBIC”) by the U.S. Small Business Administration. Genesis Park supports growth and later stage lower middle market businesses through flexible debt and equity capital solutions and strategic guidance. Genesis Park generally targets companies with at least $10 million of revenue and $2 million of EBITDA, with proven business models and seasoned management teams. Managed by four experienced investment professionals with broad regional relationships, Genesis Park is committed to partnering with the companies and management teams in which it invests to facilitate growth, transition, and success.
About Evolution Strategy Partners
Evolution Strategy Partners (www.evolutionstrategy.com) is a differentiated private equity firm with a unique approach to conducting business: It considers its portfolio companies as true partners, not purely investments. Evolution values and respects the people with whom they work believes its value-added involvement is only beginning at the time a transaction closes. They stay engaged and empower company leaders to accelerate the true potential of their businesses. Evolution’s primary focus is on entrepreneur-owned businesses but it remains flexible to explore other opportunities where their knowledge and interests are aligned. Evolution targets industrial and commercial service businesses with under $75 million in revenue and select only a handful of new platform opportunities to pursue each year.