Abry Partners said Aug. 1 that it acquired a majority of Franklin Energy Group. Kohlberg & Co LLC are the sellers. Financial terms weren’t announced. Franklin Energy, of Port Washington, Wisconsin, provides demand side management solutions to utility clients.
Franklin Energy Group Shifting Ownership to Abry Partners
PORT WASHINGTON, WI & BOSTON, MA, August 1, 2019 — Franklin Energy Group (“Franklin Energy” or the “Company”), a leading provider of demand side management solutions to utility clients, announced today that Abry Partners (“Abry”), a Boston-based private equity firm, will purchase majority ownership of the Company from Kohlberg & Company, LLC (“Kohlberg”) and its other stockholders.
Headquartered in Port Washington, WI, Franklin Energy was formed through the merger of Franklin Energy Services and AM Conservation Group, and subsequent acquisition of PlanetEcosystems, resulting in the leading vertically-integrated demand side management company offering outsourced energy efficiency and demand response program management services, product fulfillment, and customer engagement software to utility clients. The Company has a nationwide footprint and will leverage its 30 years of expertise as it continues delivering integrated customer engagement solutions alongside its program implementation and product fulfillment services.
“Our top priority is always meeting the needs of our utility clients, and our exciting new partnership with Abry will allow us to continue exceling at that,” said Paul Schueller, Chief Executive Officer of Franklin Energy. “This opens new growth opportunities that we are extremely well-positioned to explore.”
“We are looking forward to digging into the ever-changing needs of our clients as the industry evolves,” added Kevin McDonough, President of Franklin Energy. “We started as a commercial firm, grew into the residential sector, and have expanded our NGAGE™ customer engagement technology suite to identify even more potential for best serving our clients. Our new partnership with Abry is the right next step towards achieving those goals as we continue to build service, technology, and product capabilities to provide our utility clients with an integrated and seamless customer experience.”
John Bailes, President of AM Conservation Group, commented, “Over the last 10 years or so, we have been able to grow our business tenfold. We not only owe that to our long-term client relationships and fabulous employees, but to past partners like Kohlberg who have invested heavily into our business. We are extremely excited to partner with a firm like Abry as we enter this next phase of growth for our company.”
“We could not be more excited to partner with Paul Schueller, Kevin McDonough, John Bailes, and the long list of talented executives at Franklin Energy,” said JD Martin of Abry Partners. “Paul is a pioneer in this industry, and he and his outstanding team have built a truly differentiated platform. We have tremendous respect for what Franklin Energy has achieved under Kohlberg’s ownership and very much look forward to supporting this great organization’s strategic vision as it expands its market leadership by continuing to provide utility clients and their end-users exceptional value.”
“We have enjoyed our partnership with Paul and the Franklin Energy team, who have built a leading utility-facing platform serving demand side management needs,” commented Benjamin Mao, Partner of Kohlberg. “We look forward to the continued success of Franklin Energy in partnership with Abry.”
Harris Williams & Co. acted as financial advisor and Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP acted as legal advisor to Franklin Energy. Kirkland & Ellis LLP acted as legal advisor to Abry.
About Franklin Energy Group
Franklin Energy is a leading outsourced provider of energy efficiency and demand response program services, product fulfillment, and customer engagement software to large-scale utilities and municipalities. Formed through the merger of Franklin Energy Services and AM Conservation Group, and the subsequent acquisition of PlanetEcosystems, the Company serves the residential, commercial and industrial, multi-family, and small business end-markets through a diverse services, products, and software offering. Franklin Energy designs, implements, and monitors programs for utility companies in order to help them achieve their highest-priority goals while its AM Conservation Group business unit maintains a comprehensive portfolio of 350+ energy and water efficiency products and offers world-class fulfillment capabilities. The Company’s NGAGE™ technology platform is a scalable end-to-end offering that seamlessly integrates utility portfolio programs into a single interface for more efficient management and more effective customer engagement. Franklin Energy has been serving the utility industry for 30 years. For more information on Franklin Energy, please visit www.franklinenergy.com.
About Abry Partners
Abry is one of the most experienced and successful sector-focused private equity investment firms in North America. Since their founding in 1989, the firm has completed over $82.0 billion of leveraged transactions and other private equity or preferred equity placements. Currently, the firm manages over $5.0 billion of capital across their active funds. For more information on Abry, please visit www.abry.com.
About Kohlberg & Company, LLC
Kohlberg is a leading private equity firm headquartered in Mount Kisco, NY. Since its inception in 1987, Kohlberg has organized eight private equity funds, through which it has raised over $7.5 billion of committed equity capital. Over its 32-year history, Kohlberg has completed 79 platform investments and nearly 200 add-on acquisitions, with an aggregate transaction value of over $20 billion. For more information on Kohlberg, please visit www.kohlberg.com.