Daily News: November 18, 2013

GE Capital Provides HydroChem Facility for Inland Acquisition

Aquilex Holdings announced it entered into an agreement to acquire Inland Industrial Services Group. The combined company will have close to $400 million of revenue and will continue to provide highly effective and cost-efficient industrial cleaning solutions to customers, including daily maintenance as well as turnaround and project services. HydroChem is majority-owned by affiliates of Centerbridge Partners investment firm, and Inland is majority owned by affiliates of Birmingham, MI-based Strength Capital Partners investment firm.

HydroChem will finance the acquisition with proceeds from a new credit facility underwritten by General Electric Capital. The transaction is expected to be completed prior to year’s end.

Kirkland & Ellis acted as legal counsel to HydroChem in connection with the transaction. Houlihan Lokey Capital acted as exclusive financial advisor, and Jaffe Raitt Heuer & Weiss acted as legal counsel to Inland in connection with the transaction. King & Spalding acted as legal counsel to General Electric Capital in connection with the transaction.

Gary Noto, CEO of HydroChem, said, “We are excited to welcome Inland’s customers and employees into the HydroChem family. Our cultures are highly complementary, and together we will continue to deliver industry-leading safety and quality results to our customers. We remain 100% committed to the accelerated roll-out of HydroChem’s proprietary automation technology, which delivers safer, more reliable and higher-quality outcomes. On behalf of all of Hydrochem’s employees, we are eager to get to work in order to merge the operations and build upon Inland’s strengths to grow the business.”

Kyle Cruz, senior managing director at Centerbridge, added, “Since our original investment in HydroChem in February 2012, we have supported the company’s investment in equipment and technology. The company’s management team, led by Gary Noto and assembled under the leadership of our Chairman, Donovan Boyd, has delivered strong performance, and the acquisition of Inland is the culmination of a strategic undertaking aimed at expanding into new end-markets and geographies by leveraging our core competencies. We have the utmost confidence in our leadership team.”

Mark McCammon, managing partner at Strength, remarked, “We thank the Inland leadership team and employees for their service and are thrilled with the transaction. HydroChem is the right owner for the long-term growth of the combined business, and Inland’s specialized capabilities, extensive branch network, diverse customer base and experienced employees are a valuable addition to HydroChem.”

Aquilex Holdings, through its wholly owned subsidiary, Aquilex HydroChem, is a provider of industrial cleaning solutions to the petrochemical production, oil refining, and other energy end-markets. Aquilex HydroChem has industry-leading safety results, highly innovative automation technologies and specialty services, and best-in-class project supervision personnel and field equipment.

New York City-based Centerbridge Partners is a private investment firm with approximately $20 billion in capital under management.

Inland Industrial Services Group is an industrial cleaning company that serves the refining, chemical processing, pulp and paper, alternative fuels, steel, power, automotive, and airport end-markets in the Gulf Coast and Central U.S.

Strength Capital Partners is a Birmingham, MI-based private equity firm that specializes in industry consolidations and consumer products growth lower middle market companies.