We begin each year with the goal of identifying two or three opportunities to partner with business owners to build and grow interesting, profitable, small/middle-market companies. To find these two or three "gems," we evaluate over 300 opportunities. Our patience and discipline were rewarded again this year.
Blue Sage Capital: 2017 Year in Review
We completed two platform acquisitions in 2017.
In February, we partnered with longtime industry veteran John Gustafson to form Frontier Waste Holdings, Inc., a provider of solid waste services to the municipal, residential, commercial and industrial end markets in Texas. Prior to Frontier's formation, John ran a $100 million EBITDA division for Progressive Waste that encompassed over 300 municipalities and 2 million customers with 2,500 employees and 12 landfills. Capitalizing on John's experience and relationships spanning 26 years, we formed Frontier with a buy-and-build strategy in mind. The Frontier Waste platform is comprised of several smaller tuck-ins:
- Access Disposal Services, servicing Hillsboro and the area between Waco and Ft. Worth.
- K2 Waste Solutions, servicing the areas around Corpus Christi and Liberty County.
- Lone Star Disposal, servicing Somervell, Hood, Johnson, Parker and other counties in the Southern Dallas Ft. Worth region.
Frontier's strategy is to be the leading independent provider of municipal solid waste services in Texas.
In December, we partnered with the Rones family in recapitalizing Americo Manufacturing Company, Inc. Americo is an Acworth (Atlanta), Georgia-based designer and manufacturer of floor mats and specialty nonwoven products for the janitorial services industry. Founded in 1969 by Jim Rones and now run by his son-in-law, Lenny Shutzberg, and son, Richard Rones, the company's core nonwoven products include floor pads used by building service contractors for routine cleaning and maintenance of schools, hospitals, office buildings, grocery stores and a wide variety of other building types.
Americo is a leader in the floor pad industry and has developed an environmentally conscious product line using 100% recycled materials (specifically recycled plastic water bottles) that, due to an exclusive and proprietary process the company licenses, biodegrades almost entirely after 14 months. Additionally, Americo has demonstrated a unique capability to develop new applications for its high loft manufacturing process, internally developing products such as roof vents, linings for sand traps on golf courses, and a wetlands reclamation product known as a "floating island." Americo also manufactures floor mats and other specialty nonwoven products.
During the year, we added two new members to our team.
Our firm's foundation and ability to grow is predicated on attracting and retaining the right people: people of intellect and integrity who bring a relational approach to a transaction business and who can embrace the goals of the team. During the year, we welcomed two new team members, Jonathan Kaskow and Alan Mire.
Jonathan joined Blue Sage in June as a Senior Associate. Previously, he worked at SunTx Capital Partners, a middle-market private equity firm based in Dallas, Texas. Jonathan served as both an investment professional and the Director of Business Development for Construction Partners (CPI), a portfolio company in Dothan, Alabama. Jonathan received his undergraduate degree in Economics from Stanford University where he earned PAC-10 honors as a member of the baseball team. He was a professional baseball player in the Cincinnati Reds organization prior to earning his MBA from the University of Texas, where he graduated with honors.
Alan joined Blue Sage in June as Controller. Previously, he worked in the public accounting industry for six years at Ernst & Young and PMB Helin Donovan. Alan graduated magna cum laude from Texas A&M University with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting and a Master of Science in Finance. He is a licensed certified public accountant in the state of Texas.
About Blue Sage Capital
Blue Sage Capital is an Austin, Texas-based private equity firm specializing in growth, recapitalization and buyout financings of small middle market companies. With over fifteen years as a team and over $200 million in assets under management, we have extensive experience transitioning founder-run businesses and seek companies with leadership in their niche. Most of Blue Sage’s investments are in established, profitable companies with $20 million to $100 million of revenue and $3 million to $12 million of cash flow. Blue Sage invests in a variety of industries, with each initial investment typically ranging from $10 million to $20 million.