Code Hennessy & Simmons LLC Completes Majority Equity Investment in Kele, Inc.
Code Hennessy & Simmons LLC (“CHS”) announced it has completed a majority equity investment in Kele, Inc. (“Kele”), a leading supplier of commercial HVAC and building automation interface products. Funds for CHS’ investment in Kele come from CHS Private Equity V LP, a $1.3 billion investment fund formed in 2005.
Headquartered in Memphis, Tennessee, Kele provides peripheral control products and services to the building automation systems industry. Kele’s product offering includes over 15,000 interface products, including transmitters, sensors, switches, gauges and relays from over 200 manufacturers. The company’s products can be integrated into pre-existing, new construction and retrofit systems. Kele specializes in non-residential building HVAC systems, but also offers peripheral controls for the lighting industry and security and access markets. For additional information about Kele, please refer to the company’s website at www.kele.com.
Andy Kelly, CEO and President of Kele, said, “CHS has an impressive track record in the distribution space. With the expertise and resources CHS can provide, we plan to reach new levels of growth. Kele is entering a new era that I am convinced will be exciting and rewarding for our key stakeholders, customers, associates, investors, suppliers and community.”
Dave Hawkins, Partner at CHS, said, “We are pleased to work with Andy Kelly and his management team. Kele’s catalog is regarded as the premier catalog and reference guide in the industry. We look forward to continuing the company’s strong financial performance and implementing a strategy for future growth.”
CHS acquired Kele from Thompson Street Capital Partners (“TSCP”), a St. Louis-based private equity firm. TSCP was a co-investor with CHS in Waddington North America, Inc. (“WNA”), a Fund IV investment sold in August 2007. This relationship was the primary driver behind TSCP’s desire to work directly with CHS to complete the Kele transaction outside of an auction process.
The investment in Kele complements CHS’ portfolio of investments in the distribution industry, which currently includes The Hillman Group, a distributor of fasteners, key blanks, signage and other small hardware components; Home Acres Building Supply Company, a distributor of gypsum wallboard; Kranson Holdings, Inc., a distributor of rigid packaging solutions; Mainline Supply Company, a distributor of underground infrastructure products; SunSource, a distributor of fluid power products and systems; and TruckPro, Inc., a distributor of aftermarket parts and accessories for heavy-duty vehicles.
CHS is a Chicago-based private equity firm specializing in private equity investments and recapitalizations of middle market companies in partnership with management. CHS targets well-managed companies focused on growth with enterprise values between $100 million and $1 billion. With particular expertise in the Distribution, Business & Consumer Services, Consumer Products and Infrastructure & Industrial Products sectors, CHS has completed 71 platform investments and 165 add-on investments. Founded in 1988, CHS has formed five private equity funds and currently manages over $2.5 billion of capital. For additional information about CHS, please refer to the firm’s website at www.chsonline.com.