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Inside the exits: ACP sold five portfolio companies in the last year

"We believe the exit environment has remained healthy with robust appetite for high-quality companies of scale," said Align Capital Partners' Chris Jones.

Earlier this week, Align Capital Partners announced the sale of Protegis Fire & Safety  to Summit Fire & Security, a subsidiary of SFP Holding, which is owned by BlackRock Long Term Private Capital. The deal marks the fifth exit within a year for the PE firm, which manages $775 million in committed capital with investment teams in Cleveland and Dallas. To find out more about ACP’s exit strategy in particular and the current environment for exits in general, PE Hub reached out to Chris Jones, co-founder and managing partner.

Please tell us about the five recent exits.

Our five exits have included the following investments:

  • Alliance Technical Group exit to Morgan Stanley Capital Partners: July 2021
  • Electronic Transaction Consultants exit to Quarterhill: September 2021
  • Pleatco Filtration exit to Pentair: October 2021
  • Barrow-Agee exit to Eurofins Scientific: February 2022
  • Protegis exit to Summit Fire (owned by BlackRock): May 2022

Why is this a good time for exits?

Our pace of exits has increased partially as a function of the firm’s inception date. Align Capital Partners was founded in 2016 and, as such, we were solely focused on deploying capital and scaling early platform investments for the first 4-5 years. Since its founding, ACP has invested in 14 platforms and closed 53 add-ons. Now that we’ve been operating for over five years, we’re hitting a natural inflection point where we’ll expect to realize a few investments each year.

That said, our exits have largely been driven by our portfolio companies generally achieving their growth targets and scaling into much bigger and better businesses – positioning them well for an ownership transition.

Further, we believe the exit environment has remained healthy with robust appetite for high-quality companies of scale that are viewed as a good platform starting point for larger PE funds or sizable add-ons for strategic buyers.

What can you share about returns?

While we can’t disclose specific returns, we are pleased with the overall results from our first five exits and proud of how our partnership model has supported our management teams and their aggressive growth goals

Several of our recent exits were of platforms whereby we helped the companies scale to three or four times the size of our initial platform investment, including Protegis, which more than tripled in size during our partnership period.