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Lakewood Capital-led investor group buys Vacuum Systems International

An investor group led by Lakewood Capital has acquired floor care equipment provider Vacuum Systems International Inc. No financial terms were disclosed. Canal Holdings LLC provided about $3 million in debt to back the transaction.


ROWAYTON, Conn., Feb. 17, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Lakewood Capital is pleased to announce that a group of investors led by Lakewood Capital and including existing management has acquired Vacuum Systems International, Inc. through a newly formed entity, VSI International (“VSI”). Founded in 1994, VSI is a unique value added provider of cost saving and sustainable equipment remanufacturing and fleet rotational programs utilized by large multi-location concerns. The Company manages commercial vacuum cleaners and steamers used in 72,000 facilities, and has the capability of servicing nearly every major brand of commercial vacuum cleaner in the world.

Diana Richards, founder of Vacuum Systems, stated, “Partnering with Lakewood will provide our management and employees with the resources not only to meet existing customers’ needs, but also to enable us to broaden our reach significantly. Additional equipment platforms and services tailored to particular industry segments have been developed and our new partners are critical to our efforts to bring each of these new initiatives to market.”

Roger Knight, founding partner of Lakewood Capital, added, “We are particularly excited about joining with such a strong group of investment partners on VSI, many of whom have built their own successful private equity firms. Lakewood formed an investment vehicle, Spartacus Partners, to enable high net worth individuals to invest alongside Lakewood on promising lower middle market transactions. VSI is a perfect example of a smaller company that has developed a unique product/service and is well positioned to grow significantly with the benefit of our financial and strategic support.” Roger will serve as Chairman of VSI.

VSI’s programs promote the use of reusable equipment and parts and target the elimination of waste by preventing equipment from being disposed in landfills. Customers benefit from operating efficiencies and cost savings through VSI’s unique rotational model, as well as a demonstrated commitment to corporate sustainability. VSI estimates its programs have reduced landfill waste by more than 15 million pounds since the Company’s formation. For more information, please visit

Canal Holdings, LLC (Twinsburg, OH) provided approximately $3.0 million of senior subordinated debt to support the transaction.

About Lakewood Capital, LLC
Lakewood Capital teams with operating management to make control investments in companies active in the lower middle market. Lakewood targets businesses that have developed a strong position in their core markets and are facing opportunities/challenges/transition as they move toward the next stage of their developments. Middle market businesses often reach a point where their existing resources, be they financial, operational or human, need to be expanded to continue to prosper. These times often occur when founding management seeks less active involvement, new market opportunities arise, growth outstrips current capacity, and/or the competitive landscape changes. Lakewood prides itself on partnering with existing management to capitalize on these times of transition, with the mutual goal of building stronger, more dynamic, more competitive operations in the process. For more information, please contact Roger Knight,

About Canal Holdings
Canal Holdings, LLC is the manager of junior capital investment partnerships (mezzanine debt, preferred equity, and minority common equity) for high net worth individuals, family offices and institutional investors. Canal invests $2 to $7 million in profitable, closely-held companies seeking an active capital partner to fund internal growth, acquisitions, recapitalizations, and ownership transitions. Canal’s first partnership, Canal Mezzanine Partners, LP, is fully invested and is in the process of planning strategic exits of its remaining investments. Canal Mezzanine Partners II, LP, continues to serve the same market niche that Canal has cultivated since 2005, and Canal’s third fund will be launched to continue its strategy of investing in lower middle-market businesses.