- USIC’s customers are undergoing growth and transformation driven by grid modernization, technological innovation and infrastructure stimulus
- USIC serves over 1,300 customers in the US and Canada, has 9,000 technicians that perform 80 million locates each year
- Partners Group has overseen EBITDA increasing at 77% in the last five years
Partners Group has retained a 50 percent stake in United States Infrastructure Corporation (USIC), a North American utility provider, while Kohlberg & Company has picked up the other half in a deal that gives USIC an enterprise value of $4.1 billion.
Headquartered in Indianapolis, USIC was founded in 2008 and is focused on outsourced “utility locate” services, which involve locating, identifying, and marking sub-surface utility infrastructure such as pipes, cables, and fiber. These services are provided on behalf of public utilities that are required by law to ensure underground infrastructure is marked correctly before ground is broken on any new project.
USIC currently serves over 1,300 customers in the US and Canada across six utility markets: cable, telecom, electric, gas, water, and sewer and has a workforce of 9,000 technicians that perform 80 million locates each year.
According to USIC, the firm is set for growth that is supported by President Joe Biden’s push for infrastructure upgrade, new 5G densification initiatives, increased awareness of the importance of conducting locates, and a shift to outsourcing on the part of utilities.
Partners Group has managed to generate 77 percent of EBITDA since acquiring USIC in 2017 through initiatives that included investing in technician training, launching new tools to improve productivity and operational performance, and capturing pricing adjustments and improved contract terms.
“USIC has a strong, resilient business model that is underpinned by consistent demand from a blue-chip customer base and long-term contracted cashflows,” said Joel Schwartz, partner and co-head of Private Equity Services Industry Vertical at Partners Group.
Benjamin Mao, Kohlberg’s partner and head of Infrastructure Services said USIC is uniquely positioned as a leading provider of mission-critical safety services to utilities and telecommunications customers who are undergoing periods of significant growth and transformation driven by grid modernization, technological innovation, and further accelerated by infrastructure stimulus.
Partners Group was advised by Harris Williams, Bank of America Corporation, and Ropes & Gray LLP, while Kohlberg was advised by Goldman Sachs, Houlihan Lokey, and Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP.