Ashbrook Simon-Hartley Wins 2013 SBIA Portfolio Company of the Year

Palm Beach, FL – The Small Business Investor Alliance (SBIA), the leading association for lower middle market private equity funds and investors, today announced that Ashbrook Simon-Hartley (Ashbrook), a portfolio company of SBIA member firm Blue Sage Capital and a leading provider of water and wastewater treatment solutions, won its Portfolio Company of the Year Award. The SBIA honored Ashbrook and Blue Sage Capital with the award today at its annual National Summit for Middle Market Funds, the premier private equity conference for the lower middle market, in Palm Beach, Florida.

The SBIA Portfolio Company of the Year Award demonstrates the effectiveness of private equity financing and the benefits of the partnership between private equity investors and small businesses. Based in Houston, Texas, Ashbrook was selected from among a group of successful private equity-backed companies throughout the country. Ashbrook is based in an economically disadvantaged area of Houston, where it hires local employees. Ashbrook has additional offices and service hubs in the United States, the United Kingdom and Chile. From the time of Blue Sage’s investment in Ashbrook in 2005, to its exit in 2012, the company grew its workforce by 48%, from 160 to 237 employees.

“SBIA is proud to present Ashbrook and Blue Sage Capital with the Portfolio Company of the Year Award,” said Brett Palmer, President of SBIA. “The competition was fierce but together, Ashbrook and Blue Sage Capital have created a truly phenomenal company with a compelling growth story. Their partnership is a perfect example of the benefits that come from putting capital to work in the promising companies of America’s lower middle market. Together, they expanded vital wastewater services into new markets and created jobs. We are pleased to honor this success story and we congratulate all of the nominees on their accomplishments.”

“The entire team at Ashbrook is thrilled to have won the SBIA Portfolio Company of the Year Award,” said Bob Williams, CEO of Ashbrook, “Peter Huff and his team at Blue Sage Capital have been incredibly strong partners for us over the last eight years and despite a very difficult recession we have been able to post strong growth and create jobs. We count them among our closest advisors and friends and credit this win to our collaboration.”

Blue Sage Capital, an SBIA member firm, is an Austin, Texas-based private equity firm specializing in growth, recapitalization and buyout financings of smaller middle market companies based in Texas and the Southwest. The firm has realized success based on its proven strategy of investing in founder-owned businesses with $10 million to $100 million of revenue and with $3 million to $10 million of cash flow, where Blue Sage can add value by partnering with management to build and grow great companies. Blue Sage invests in a variety of industries, with each initial investment typically ranging from $10 million to $20 million.

“We’re proud to stand with the management team of Ashbrook as they accept this recognition from SBIA,” said Peter Huff, Managing Member of Blue Sage Capital. “Our investment in the team at Ashbrook fits with our proven strategy of growing small businesses, adding jobs, and creating value.”

The SBIA Portfolio Company of the Year award has been presented to 34 outstanding SBIA-member portfolio companies since 1987. Previous award winners have included such well-known companies as Intel, Callaway Golf, and Build-A-Bear Workshop.

About the Small Business Investor Alliance (SBIA)

The Small Business Investor Alliance (SBIA) is the premier organization of lower middle market private equity funds and investors. SBIA members provide vital capital to small businesses nationwide, resulting in economic growth and job creation. has been playing a pivotal role in promoting the growth and vitality of the private equity industry for more than 50 years. For more information, visit or call 202-628-5055.