EM Assist

EM Assist

Industry: Environmental Services
Deal Type: Buyout
Status: Sold

Overview

Andy Graham served as Chairman of EM-Assist, Inc. (“EM-Assist”) and served on the Board of Directors of Venatus Capital Partners LLC (VCP). EM-Assist provides environmental consulting services, information management and training solutions to the federal government (predominantly the Department of Defense).

Thesis

VCP was formed by Jeremy Burr as a special purpose entity to acquire and operate a business. In mid- 2007, through EM Assist LLC, VCP acquired EM-Assist. EM-Assist was a small, growing and profitable privately held company, with meaningful concentrations of service lines and customers. Both of its two founders were interested in realizing substantial ownership liquidity– one was interested in fully exiting the business operations, while the other was interested in an ongoing management role in the company’s growth.

Acquiring EM-Assist was an attractive investment opportunity as a result of 1) Jeremy Burr’s transactional and operating leadership, 2) the quality of the Company’s executive team and work force, 3) the longevity of its customer relationships and related customer satisfaction, 4) the combination of a) an increasing need within the Federal government for the company’s services and b) the relative recession-resistance of the government’s demand for environmental compliance and 5) the Company’s historical record of revenue and earnings growth. Mr. Burr intended to diversify the Company’s customer base, re-focus and improve sales and marketing efforts, enhance control systems leading to increased operating efficiencies and leverage technology to enhance EM-Assist’s value proposition and competitive differentiation.

Outcome

Under Jeremy Burr’s leadership, the Company repaid all funded debt, while also growing EBITDA 30% on a compound annual basis. Over this period, the Company’s significantly outperformed industry benchmarks. The Company grew by 1) creating a compelling vision and implementing an integrated long term strategy for the Company, 2) developing intellectual property through unique Commercial-Off-The-Shelf (COTS) software applications which served to augment and distinguish its service offerings, 3) diversifying its customer base, 4) investing meaningfully in sales and marketing efforts and 5) actively monitoring and improving various operating efficiencies. The Company was sold to Cardno TEC, an operating subsidiary of Cardno (an Australian publicly-traded global infrastructure and environmental services company with over 7,000 employees in 85 countries).