By: G.F. Gay Le Breton and Alexander Aguilar March 7, 2022
Expanding technological capabilities and operations was at the heart of four Louisiana M&A deals in February 2022, driving transactions in the energy, aerospace, financial and information sectors.
Metairie-based Bernhard LLC, the largest privately-owned Energy-as-a-Service (EaaS) company in the U.S., completed the acquisition of ETC Group, including both of its analytic subsidiaries, BuildingFit and GrowFit Analytics. The Utah-based energy efficiency engineering firm provides services to reduce building energy waste, reduce operational costs and create healthy and comfortable environments. With this acquisition, Bernhard will nearly double its software development capabilities and expand its national presence to a total of 25 locations.
Bernhard was founded in Baton Rouge over 100 years ago as a plumbing and sheet metal works company before shifting its focus in 2014 to become an EssA provider. ETC Group is the latest in a string of 15 EaaS transaction by Bernhard. In just the last four years, the company has financed more than $750 million in EaaS investments.
DIF Capital Partners, a global infrastructure investment fund, acquired Bernhard in 2021 from Baton Rouge-based Berhard Capital Partners as part of its clean energy, ESG and sustainability investment focus.
In the aerospace and defense sector, Baton Rouge-based Bascom Hunter Technologies completed the acquisition of Seamech International, Inc. Located in Houston, Seamech designs and manufactures environmental control systems for aerospace and defense technology.
Bascom Hunter operates through its two subsidiaries: BHTech, which provides radio frequency and satellite communications services; and Xcelaero, which also develops environmental controls systems and thermal management services. Andrew McCandless, Bascom Hunter’s CEO, stated that the Seamach acquisition would better position Bascom Hunter to meet customers’ demand for high performance thermal management solutions.
Seamach is Bascom Hunter’s second acquisition. It purchased Xcelaero in 2020.
In the fintech space, New Orleans-based BATON Financial Services sold to Kansas-based Multi Service Technology Solutions, doing business as TreviPay. TreviPay is a financial technology company specializing in payment and credit management for B2B companies. Its acquisition of Baton will build on the company’s B2B support for small business suppliers.
“By joining forces, TreviPay will grow its trade credit solutions to help expand the selling power and global commerce capabilities of small businesses lacking traditional financing support,” said Brandon Spear, CEO of TreviPay.
Rissi Lovern, former CEO of Baton and now chief risk officer of TreviPay, added: “As small businesses emerge from the pandemic, they will need capital to carry them forward. A business’ best source of capital is often hidden in its balance sheet in accounts receivable.”
In the information services industry, General Informatics, the Baton Rouge-based IT services and network infrastructure company, made its second acquisition in Texas with the purchase of CMS IP Technologies. The deal will give General Informatics broader reach in the Texas, Louisiana and Colorado markets, adding offices in Beaumont, Lufkin, Livingston and Pueblo.
Since General Informatics partnered with private equity group Rosewood Private Investments in 2020, it has made four acquisitions, including in Mississippi, Alabama and the Carolinas. Don Monistere, CEO and president of the company, said that he could see future M&A activity in Lake Charles and Lafayette, given that the company is in the Interstate 10 corridor.
G.F. Gay Le Breton is managing director for Chaffe & Associates Inc., responsible for the merger and acquisition activities of the firm. Alexander Aguilar is a financial analyst with the firm.
Investment banking services are provided by Chaffe Securities Inc., member FINRA/SIPC.