M&A: 3 Louisiana-based private equity groups announced acquisitions in June

July 14, 2023

By: G.F. Gay Le Breton And Ryan Gerton, Contributing Writers July 13, 2023


Three Louisiana-based private equity groups announced acquisitions in June, as they continue to deploy capital across a broad set of industries and geography.

New Orleans-based Carr’s Hill Capital Partners partnered with Shaw and Tom Matthews, the founders of Matthews Brothers Dredging, to recapitalize the business and support its continued expansion. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Matthews Brothers, founded in 1999, is a marine infrastructure services business based in Pass Christian, Mississippi, that serves the U.S. Gulf Coast. The company attributes its recent growth and large customer base to its cost-effective mechanical dredging services that increase productivity and reliability.

H. David de Laureal, Managing Partner of Carr’s Hill, said that his company was “immediately impressed with the operational efficiency, proven safety culture, and overall reputation” of MBD. The company focuses on a range of recurring maintenance and capital projects, benefitting from the Gulf Coast’s extensive port connectivity and infrastructure spending.

In conjunction with the acquisition, Matthews Brothers has appointed Declan Rushe as its Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately.

Shaw Matthews saw “Declan and the team at Carr’s Hill [as] the perfect partners to help lead Matthews Brothers as it rapidly grows to the next level,” adding that Carr’s Hill’s “brings an impressive track record and expertise in the industrials sector as we continue expanding our services to more customers throughout the Gulf Coast.”

This transaction marks Carr’s Hill’s third platform acquisition in as many years. In June 2020, the company purchased Axis Industrial, a multi-craft industrial contractor which has since acquired three companies to build an industry leading soft crafts platform. Carr’s Hill also acquired Arrow Waste, a waste hauling business servicing over 10,000 residential and commercial customers in the Atlanta metropolitan area.

LongueVue Capital (LVC), also New Orleans based, announced that last month, its investment platform, Fertility Specialists Network (FSN), acquired Viera Fertility, located in Melbourne, Florida. Financial terms were not disclosed.

LVC partnered with fertility industry veterans H. Ron Davidson and Boris Vaisman in 2021 to launch FSN. FSN subsequently acquired IVFMD, a leading fertility treatment platform with three locations serving the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. FSN uses a physician-led approach to clinic expansion, providing clinics with a support structure that enhances the economic efficiency of IVF services while maintaining premium standards of patient care.

Ryan Nagim, Managing Partner at LVC, said that “Viera’s patient-centric approach and strong reputation fully align with FSN’s mission, and Viera is a welcomed addition to the network. We look forward to helping maximize the potential of the platform and deliver best-in-class patient outcomes and experiences.”

While LVC is opportunistic in its approach to investments, health care is one of its sectors of interest. In late 2022, LVC acquired two San Antonio clinical research facilities specializing in complex therapeutic areas, including hepatology with a focus on non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis. Both sellers looked to LVC’s resources, industry expertise, and cultural alignment to drive significant growth and improve outcomes.

Finally, Baton Rouge’s Bernhard Capital Partners announced yet another transaction, its fifth in 2023, according to CapitalIQ. It will acquire Optimum Energy, a Seattle-based provider of HVAC optimization solutions. Founded in 2005, Optimum Energy uses proprietary software, analytics and engineering to measure and reduce the energy consumption of heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems in commercial buildings. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Optimum Energy serves customers across five continents in pharmaceutical, higher education, health care, technology, hospitality and industrial end markets. The company will continue to be led by President Larry Stapleton and the existing management team.

Jonathan de Laureal, Managing Director at Bernhard Capital Partners, said that “Optimum’s innovative optimization software, powerful cloud-based analytics, and expert engineering services creates an unparalleled offering in today’s market that provides customers with powerful and effective solutions to save money and improve sustainability,” He added that “leveraging our experience and extensive track record, we aim to expand upon Optimum’s current capabilities and solidify them as the global leader in the industry. We look forward to working closely with Optimum’s talented team to support new and existing customers around the world and position the company for long term success.”

Bernhard Capital is a services and infrastructure-focused private equity group established in 2013. It has approximately $3.4 billion of gross assets under management.

G.F. Gay Le Breton is managing director for Chaffe & Associates Inc., responsible for the merger and acquisition activities of the firm. Ryan Gerton is a research associate with the firm. Investment banking services are provided by Chaffe Securities Inc., member FINRA/SIPC. For more information, visit http://chaffe-associates.com.