CHICAGO, Ill.—August 7, 2018: Prospect Partners, LLC, a leading private equity firm investing in smaller lower-middle-market companies, today announced that it has sold its interest in Water Co. Holding, LLC (“WaterCo”), of Lombard, Ill., in partnership with management and co-investor Stone Pointe, LLC, to Culligan International Company (“Culligan”).
WaterCo, an independent water solutions platform in the Culligan dealer network, offers a comprehensive suite of water-related products and services — including water equipment, bottled water, water treatment, and equipment installation, maintenance and repair — to residential and commercial accounts nationwide.
WaterCo is led by Don Fuller, President and CEO, and John Capone, COO, veteran Culligan operating executives, who formed the company in 2011 with Prospect Partners and Stone Point through the acquisitions of 11 corporate franchises from Culligan with the goal of building the company into Culligan’s leading U.S. dealer.
During Prospect Partners’ investment period, WaterCo successfully bought and integrated more than 20 add-on acquisitions of other Culligan franchises, independent water service dealers, and providers of commercial or industrial water purification services, expanding the company’s geographic footprint, market reach, and bottled water delivery capabilities. WaterCo now operates with territory exclusivity in 36 locations in 13 states.
“WaterCo has been a strong and exciting growth story for Prospect Partners,” said Lou Kenter, a Founding Principal of Prospect Partners. “WaterCo today is one of the largest and fastest growing dealers in the Culligan network, producing consistent, recurring top-line growth for corporate.”
Added Stone Pointe Principal Lee Vandermyde: “Don and John built a top-notch operating team and did an excellent job integrating, professionalizing, and improving the performance of WaterCo’s 20-plus acquisitions to create a highly respected, team-oriented company that prided itself on growth, best-in-class practices, and customer service.”
Said WaterCo’s Fuller: “We have deeply valued the strategic guidance both Prospect Partners and Stone Pointe have provided to help steer the company to a successful outcome. We look forward to continuing our relationship and growth under the Culligan brand.”
TM Capital served as WaterCo’s exclusive financial advisor in this transaction. Sidley Austin LLP acted as WaterCo’s legal advisor.
About Prospect Partners, LLC
Prospect Partners is a leading private equity firm investing in smaller lower-middle-market companies, managing $470 million across three funds. A highly experienced and active investor, Prospect Partners focuses exclusively on management-led leveraged recapitalizations and acquisitions of niche market leaders with revenues typically under $75 million. Since 1998, Prospect Partners has completed over 150 transactions nationwide in the building of more than 50 platform companies in widely diverse niche manufacturing, distribution, and specialty services markets.
About Stone Pointe, LLC
Stone Pointe, LLC, is an independent private equity firm investing in lower middle market companies. Stone Pointe focuses on investments led by management teams with deep industry experience and attractive niche market attributes of the acquired business.