Levine Leichtman Capital invested in Blue Ridge ESOP Associates alongside existing management. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The investment is Levine Leichtman’s eighth from the firm’s Lower Middle Market Fund.
Levine Leichtman Capital Partners (“LLCP”), a Los Angeles-based private equity firm, announced that it has invested in Blue Ridge ESOP Associates (“Blue Ridge” or the “Company”) in partnership with the existing owners and management team. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Blue Ridge is the leading provider of technology enhanced solutions and services for the administration and recordkeeping of Employee Stock Ownership Plans (“ESOPs”) and associated 401(k) plans. Blue Ridge’s comprehensive service offerings and highly experienced professional administrators address the complex and mission-critical needs of ESOP businesses, which has provided the Company with an unmatched reputation as the highest-quality service provider in the market. The Company serves a large and diversified client base of over 700 ESOP and 401(k) Plan Sponsors with over 175,000 total plan participants. Founded in 1988, Blue Ridge is headquartered in Charlottesville, Virginia and has offices throughout the country.
Josh Kaufman, a Managing Director at LLCP, stated, “Blue Ridge’s consistent growth and sterling reputation are a testament to its unique domain expertise in the ESOP and 401(k) industry, and to its specialized, comprehensive product suite. We are excited to partner with the existing owners and management team and to support them in accelerating growth and enhancing the product offering.”
Tom Roback, CEO of Blue Ridge, added, “We are very excited about partnering with LLCP as Blue Ridge seeks to further strengthen its market position and product offering, and fuel its next stage of growth. LLCP has a long history of being a value-added partner to its portfolio companies and we look forward to leveraging their strategic, financial and acquisitions expertise.”
Marie Minton and Greg Washburn, co-owners of Blue Ridge, stated, “We are delighted that our dedicated management team and LLCP are taking ownership in Blue Ridge. We have all been working with LLCP over the last several months and they have provided thoughtful insight into our professional services in a highly collaborative way. We are excited to continue to lead the industry with best-in-class services and technology.”
The investment in Blue Ridge follows a number of prior investments made by LLCP in the business services industry, including Trinity Consultants, Revenew International, Smith System and Law Business Research. It will be the eighth investment from LLCP Lower Middle Market Fund, L.P.
Honigman served as legal advisor to LLCP. Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. served as financial advisor to Blue Ridge.
About Levine Leichtman Capital Partners
Levine Leichtman Capital Partners, LLC is a middle-market private equity firm with a 36-year track record of successfully investing across various targeted sectors, including franchising, professional services, education and engineered products. LLCP utilizes a differentiated Structured Equity investment strategy, combining debt and equity capital investments in portfolio companies. This unique structure provides a less dilutive solution for management teams and entrepreneurs, while delivering growth and income with a significantly lower risk profile.
LLCP’s global team of dedicated investment professionals is led by seven partners who have worked together for an average of 21 years. Since inception, LLCP has managed over $10.8 billion of institutional capital across 14 investment funds and has invested in over 80 portfolio companies. LLCP currently manages $6.9 billion of assets – including its most recent flagship fund, Levine Leichtman Capital Partners VI, L.P., which closed in 2018 with $2.5 billion of committed capital – and has offices in Los Angeles, New York, Dallas, Chicago, Charlotte, Miami, London, Stockholm and The Hague.