Marwit Capital Establishes Traffic Control & Safety Corporation;
Announces Completion of Initial Two Acquisitions in HI and CA
Newport Beach, CA – September 1, 2007 – Marwit Capital Partners II, L.P. (“MCP II”) announced today the formation of Traffic Control & Safety Corporation (“TCSC”) as its 5th platform company, which subsequently completed the acquisitions of Safety Systems Hawaii, Inc. (SSH) of Honolulu, HI, and Statewide Safety & Sign, Inc. (“Statewide Safety”) of Nipomo, CA. SSH and Statewide Safety are two of the largest and most well established independent providers of traffic control and related safety products and services for road and highway maintenance, construction and safety applications in the Western U.S.
Consistent with Marwit’s strategy of partnering with entrepreneurial and proven CEOs and operating managers, Marwit has partnered with Bob Perret as CEO to build TCSC as a platform company in the highly fragmented traffic control products and services industry. In building out this strategy over the past year, Marwit developed a database of over 100 potential target businesses in the Western U.S. and has other add-on acquisitions in process. The metrics for the traffic control industry are very attractive and have a strong tailwind, given the large increase in infrastructure spending being devoted to the nation’s aged transportation systems, and the even larger multi-year federal, state and local commitments being made in this sector in virtually every U.S. market, creating years of strong pipeline.
Chris Britt, Managing Partner at Marwit Capital stated, "We have carefully planned and are now pursuing an aggressive plan to build the largest independent provider of traffic control products and services in the Western U.S., and we could not have launched this initiative with higher quality businesses in this industry than Safety Systems Hawaii, Inc. and Statewide Safety & Sign, Inc.” Bob Perret, CEO of TCSC adds, “The entrepreneurs that built these businesses, Albert Kanno at SSH and Joan Ferrari and Don Nicholas at Statewide Safety, are among the best operators in this business, and we are excited that they will remain our partners going forward in these businesses and at TCSC as we grow our platform.”
Based in Honolulu, Hawaii, SSH (www.safetysystemshawaii.com
) is the largest provider of traffic control and related safety products and services in Hawaii. Established in 1971, SSH sells, rents, and services traffic control equipment and personal safety supplies, and provides labor and traffic engineering services to a diverse group of government agencies, utilities, and general contractors in Hawaii. In addition, SSH is a leading provider of trench shoring equipment. SSH’s product and service quality is unparalleled in Hawaii, resulting in market share leadership with excellent prospects for continued growth.
Based in Nipomo, CA with additional locations in Fairfield, San Jose and San Diego, Statewide Safety (www.statewidesafety.com
) is one of the leading providers of traffic signs and diversified traffic control and related safety products and services in California. Founded in 1987, and owned and operated by Joan Ferrari and Don Nicholas for many years, the company rents and sells traffic control equipment, permanent and temporary traffic signs, related worker safety products, and provides labor and traffic engineering services for government agencies and the leading public works and general contractors throughout the state. While Ms. Ferrari is retiring from the Company to pursue other entrepreneurial interests, Don Nicholas remains as president of Statewide Safety and has also been named president of the newly-formed California division of Traffic Control & Safety Corporation.
Terms for the transaction were not disclosed. In addition to the equity investment by MCP II, and to enable the fund to continue executing its aggressive buy-and-build growth plans, Marwit has partnered with Irwin Union Bank and Zions Bank for senior debt facilities, and SPP Mezzanine Partners, Fifth Street Capital and CUNA Mutual for mezzanine capital.
About Marwit Capital
Based in Southern California since 1977, Marwit Capital is a private equity firm that invests in lower middle market “micro cap” businesses that are leaders in niche markets, have revenues of $15 to $200 million, EBITDA of $3 to $15 million, and enterprise values generally less than $75 million at the time of acquisition. In all instances, Marwit partners with experienced CEO Partners and management teams that invest alongside the Fund, and actively collaborates with them to create value. Marwit specializes in management buyouts, platform LBO acquisitions in partnership with experienced industry executives, recapitalizations, and later stage growth and expansion investments. MCP II generally invests $10 to $25 million of equity capital per Portfolio Company, in one or a series of investments, and has invested more than $250 million since 1995. MCP II completed its final closing on August 15, 2007 at $183 million of committed capital.