August 22, 2022
Anser Advisory and LaFata Contract Services (LCS) Announce Merger as IMB Partners Exits LCS Investment
Industry Leaders Anser Advisory and LCS Join to Create a National Energy and Utility Services Powerhouse
Anser Advisory, the 14th largest program management firm according to ENR, the second fastest growing AE firm according to Zweig Group, and a Certified Great Places to Work organization, and LaFata Contract Services (“LCS”), the premier utility project and construction management firm, are pleased to announce the merging of their organizations.
The combined organization is a 1,100-employee organization comprised of world-class leaders and innovators who support mission-critical projects globally for some of the nation’s most prestigious organizations, including utilities and critical infrastructure, transportation, aviation, water/wastewater, energy, education, housing, cultural, healthcare, and municipal clients, as well as federal civilian, intelligence, and defense agencies.
The combination of the Anser Advisory existing Energy business line and LCS creates a leading national utility services capability, serving clients on both coasts and increasing opportunities to further serve clients across the country in grid modernization, resiliency, and clean energy transition. The addition of LCS also strengthens Anser Advisory’s national presence, particularly in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Ohio, Virginia, Maryland, and Illinois. Existing clients of both firms will not experience any changes in personnel.
“We are excited to welcome LaFata to the Anser Advisory organization, where our combined organizations will play a leading role in delivering a cleaner and more reliable energy future. Both of our organizations are committed to equity in infrastructure, which includes an internal commitment to DE&I in our organization, as well as engagement of diverse suppliers, diverse sub-consultants, and direct participation in the communities that our Utility clients service across the country,” said Bryan Carruthers, CEO of Anser Advisory.
"Our company is poised for significant growth, and we are grateful to be a part of Anser Advisory, one of the largest Program Management Firms, a company that aligns with our vision and values,” said Michael LaFata, LCS’s Founder and President. "This merger positions us to achieve our goals to create growth opportunities for our employees, expand service offerings to our customers, and become a national utility service organization.”
As part of the transaction, IMB Partners exited its investment in LCS, providing value to its investors and generating an opportunity for the newly expanded Anser Advisory team to further invest in its employees, clients, and communities. “It has been a sincere honor to work with Mike LaFata and the management team to grow revenue and expand the employee base over the last four years,” said Tarrus Richardson, Founder and CEO of IMB Partners. In the process, LCS has doubled the number of minorities and women on its team. “We look forward to seeing the continued growth and expansion of LCS and Anser Advisory in the coming years,” Richardson added.
"We are proud to support Anser Advisory in its strategic merger with LCS,” said Bill Macey, managing partner at Sterling Investment Partners. "This transaction further positions Anser Advisory as an industry leader with substantial scale for program management and related capital deployment advisory services across civil, social, utility and federal infrastructure clients.”
LaFata will initially operate as LaFata Contract Services, an Anser Advisory Company. Together, the companies will ultimately co-create the framework for a fully integrated organization under the Anser Advisory brand. Anser Advisory is a portfolio company of Sterling Investment Partners.
D.A. Davidson served as exclusive financial advisor to LaFata Contract Services in the transaction. Dechert served as legal advisor to Anser Advisory on the transaction. Cohn Reznick and BDO served as financial and tax advisors to Anser Advisory.
About LaFata Contract Services
Founded in 2001, LaFata Contract Services (LCS) consistently delivers high-quality utility projects on time and on budget for its clients. LCS has created a driven and values-aligned team organically by attracting top industry talent to ensure its clients get exceptional results from highly experienced industry professionals managing gas and electric utility projects. Headquartered in King of Prussia, PA, LCS serves utility customers in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Illinois, Maryland, Delaware, and Washington, D.C., supporting a full range of services including transmission, substation, and distribution work for Electrical projects and main and service replacement and large diameter pipe replacement for Gas projects. Currently, LCS manages over $2.5 billion of utility project spend in the Northeast, spanning over 500 projects. LCS, a best-in-class utility contracting firm, produces safe, quality, and affordable services including construction management, program and project management, project engineering, work and outage planning, scheduling, cost controls, and field commissioning services spanning the entire life cycle of a utility project.
About IMB Partners
Founded in 2010, IMB Partners is a private equity that invests in middle market companies serving the utility sector and government agencies. IMB believes that diversity is an asset and takes an entrepreneurial approach to building companies of scale. IMB seeks platform investment targets with $5-$25 million in EBITDA. Learn more at imbpartners.com or connect with us on LinkedIn.
About Sterling Investment Partners
Sterling Investment Partners is a private equity firm that has been investing in and building middle-market companies for over 30 years with a highly experienced, cohesive team of senior investment professionals. Sterling focuses on value-added distribution and business services, acquiring businesses that the firm believes have strong, sustainable competitive advantages and significant opportunities for value creation. Over its history, Sterling has completed over 205 transactions, representing $23.1 billion in aggregate value. www.sterlinglp.com.
About Anser Advisory
Anser Advisory is an ENR Top 50 Program Management firm and Great Place to Work ® designated 2021 Best Workplaces in Consulting & Professional Services™ firm. Anser Advisory specializes in consulting services that include deep subject matter expertise across acquisition and procurement management, security consulting, enterprise technology management, training solutions, program controls, and project, program, and agency construction management. Anser Advisory professionals support civil infrastructure clients, social infrastructure clients, and federal intelligence and defense clients. Anser Advisory is a portfolio company of Sterling Investment Partners.
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