Mountaingate invests in HS2

Mountaingate Capital has made an undisclosed investment in HS2 Solutions, a Chicago-based digital transformation agency. Equiteq advised HS2 on the transaction.



Equiteq, a global leader in providing strategic and M&A advisory services to knowledge-intensive services firms, is pleased to announce that it has advised HS2 Solutions, Inc. (HS2), a full-service digital transformation agency offering a broad range of strategy, experience design, development, analytics, and marketing execution services to help clients address their digital priorities, on an investment from Mountaingate Capital (Mountaingate), a Denver-based private equity firm. HS2’s co-founders and senior management will retain a significant equity stake in the company. The transaction closed on November 1, 2016.

Founded in 2003 by Phil Hollyer and Keith Schwartz, HS2 has enjoyed outstanding growth since inception and has earned a reputation for exceptional client service delivery across the full spectrum of marketing technology platforms and through custom development for eCommerce, web, and mobile applications. With headquarters in Chicago and over 120 talented employees consisting of strategists, designers, engineers, analysts, and project managers, HS2 has partnered with Mountaingate to accelerate its growth both organically and through selective strategic acquisitions.

“We are very excited to partner with Mountaingate as we embark on our next phase of growth, which will be focused on meeting the expanding customer experience, technology, analytics, and digital marketing needs of our clients,” said Phil Hollyer, CEO and Co-Founder of HS2. “Mountaingate brings a unique market perspective stemming from their extensive digital agency services investment experience that will be invaluable as we look to prioritize strategic investments to accelerate our growth and better serve our clients.”

“Mountaingate shares our client-centric philosophy and embraces our commitment to provide rewarding career experiences for all of our team members. Their investment in HS2 is an affirmation of what we have achieved to date in partnership with our clients and team members. In addition, it provides us with capital to deepen our capabilities. The future has never been brighter for HS2,” said Keith Schwartz, President and Co-Founder of HS2.

“We are thrilled that Phil and Keith have selected Mountaingate to be their partner; the market opportunity for digital transformation agencies such as HS2 with a value proposition centered on customer experience is very compelling,” said Colton King, Managing Director of Mountaingate. “HS2 boasts a diverse client roster of blue chip and emerging brands, outstanding senior leadership, a deep and tenured bench of design and development talent, and an exceptional track record and culture of performance.”

Matt Hasson, Director of M&A in Equiteq’s New York office and the transaction team leader, commented, “Phil and Keith have built an excellent business with a top-notch client base, best-in-class design and development capabilities, and a unique and spirited culture. It is no surprise that Mountaingate, an astute private equity investor with digital marketing savvy, would be interested in investing in HS2, which now represents a key growth platform within their portfolio.”

Nicodemo Esposito, Managing Director of Equiteq’s M&A and Strategic Advisory practice in North America, added, “We thoroughly enjoyed working with Phil and Keith and congratulate the entire HS2 team on this exciting milestone. As anticipated, the market interest for HS2 was very strong, reflective of the breadth and depth of demand for agencies with differentiated capabilities in the digital transformation space. The Mountaingate team did an excellent job of demonstrating their firm as the partner best positioned to help HS2 navigate this next stage in its lifecycle.”

On Equiteq’s role as exclusive advisor, Mr. Hollyer stated, “We initially hired Equiteq to assess the value and market attractiveness of our business. Given their IT and marketing services industry focus and M&A advisory expertise, Equiteq was the logical choice to be our exclusive advisor for the overall process. Equiteq orchestrated a comprehensive and engaging transaction process, demonstrating a keen understanding of the buyer / investor landscape and providing us with sound advice every step of the way. The process led to a handful of transaction pathways to choose from, and Equiteq came through on their value promise and their commitment to delivering a successful transaction outcome.”

About Equiteq (
Equiteq is a knowledge-intensive services sector M&A specialist. The company works with the shareholders of services firms, helping them to achieve their business objectives and exit strategies. Equiteq’s services are designed to deliver great returns for its clients by accelerating revenue, profit, and equity value growth, and ultimately realizing that value in a trade sale or recapitalization.

About HS2 Solutions (
HS2 Solutions, based in Chicago, is a full-service digital transformation agency. HS2 offers a broad range of services focused on helping clients transform their eCommerce and digital marketing strategies to improve customer experience and drive meaningful business results. HS2 has capabilities within four primary service lines including eCommerce, web, and mobile development; experience design; interactive marketing; and analytics and insights. HS2 prides itself on forming problem-solving partnerships with their clients to envision, design, and build their digital vision.

About Mountaingate Capital (
Mountaingate Capital, based in Denver, is a leading buy-and-build lower middle-market private equity firm formed by a group of partners at KRG Capital. Mountaingate invests in industry-leading middle-market companies that demonstrate strong growth potential and are led by management teams committed to a strategic vision to realize that growth. Mountaingate supports management in prioritizing, funding, and executing on growth opportunities, including strategic add-on acquisitions. Mountaingate focuses on investments in specialty distribution, specialty manufacturing, and business services. Mountaingate targets investments in new platform companies with $5 million to $25 million of EBITDA.