HKW sells Contract Land Staff to Oaktree

Hammond, Kennedy, Whitney & Co sold Contract Land Staff, which provides land management and land records services, to Oaktree Capital Management-backed GFI Energy Group. HKW acquired Contract Land Services in 2008.

Press Release

Hammond, Kennedy, Whitney & Company, Inc. (“HKW”) is pleased to announce that on November 24, 2015, it closed on the sale of Contract Land Staff, LLC (“CLS”). CLS, based in Sugar Land, TX, is a leading provider of right of way (“ROW”) and land management services, and land records management in the United States. CLS had been a portfolio company of HKW since 2008.

The acquirer is California-based GFI Energy Group of Oaktree Capital Management L.P.

“We are very happy to have been a partner with CLS since 2008. The Management Team’s guidance through significant market changes and economic cycles is a testament to the strong team and the unwavering leadership of Brent Leftwich,” said Mike Foisy, Lead Operations Partner at HKW and former Chairman of CLS.

“It has been a real pleasure and honor to have worked with HKW for these past 7½ years. Their steadfast support and guidance helped CLS grow and mature into the ROW Industry leader it is today,” said Brent Leftwich, Vice Chairman, President & CEO of CLS.

About HKW: HKW is a private equity firm founded in 1903 with offices in Indianapolis and New York. Since 1982, HKW has sponsored 49 platform transactions of lower middle-market companies throughout North America as well as 55 add-on acquisitions. For further information on HKW, please visit For further information on CLS, please visit

Duff & Phelps acted as the exclusive financial advisor to HKW on the divestiture of CLS.