Roark Acquires KLH’s QualaWash Holdings

Atlanta-based private equity firm Roark Capital Group has acquired QualaWash Holdings, a provider of environmental services to the bulk transportation industry. QualaWash was a portfolio company of KLH Capital. Harris Williams & Co acted as the exclusive advisor to QualaWash.


Harris Williams & Co., a preeminent middle market investment bank focused on the advisory needs of clients worldwide, announces the sale of QualaWash Holdings, LLC (QualaWash), a leading provider of environmental services to the bulk transportation industry, to Roark Capital Group (Roark). QualaWash was a portfolio company of KLH Capital (KLH). Harris Williams & Co. acted as the exclusive advisor to QualaWash. The transaction closed on June 29, 2012 and was led by John Neuner, Brian Lucas, Luke Semple and Marshall Croft from the firm’s Richmond office.

“Since acquiring QualaWash, KLH and management have executed a very successful growth strategy that through several strategic acquisitions and the addition of several service lines has enabled the company to become the only nationwide, independent provider capable of servicing a complete line of tank trailers, ISO containers and intermediate bulk containers,” said John Neuner, a managing director at Harris Williams & Co. “QualaWash’s management team is looking forward to continuing to execute on their growth plans, and we are pleased to have found them a great partner in Roark, who has extensive experience growing businesses in the environmental services sector. This transaction represents an incredible partnership and is a great outcome for all parties involved.”

The industrial and environmental services sector has been a significant focus for Harris Williams & Co. Over the past few years, Harris Williams & Co.’s clients in this sector have served a broad range of end markets, and include PSSI, which provides services to the food processing industry; Grand Isle Shipyard Inc., which provides critical services to the offshore and onshore oil and gas industry; and Philadelphia Gear Corporation, which serves the industrial, power generation, oil and gas, infrastructure and military marine industries.

QualaWash is a privately owned bulk transportation services provider operating in 52 locations nationwide. With 550 dedicated professionals, QualaWash is North America’s largest provider of container cleaning, depot and reconditioning services. Originally founded in 1940, QualaWash grew organically and through multiple acquisitions to establish the industry’s only independent, nationwide network.

KLH is a Tampa-based private investment firm founded to provide entrepreneurs with capital to facilitate recapitalizations, management buyouts and buy-ins, family successions and other ownership transitions. KLH’s principals have invested in over 100 small businesses in the last 25 years. The firm is currently investing out of a $91 million fund that was closed in November 2011.

Roark is an Atlanta-based private equity firm that specializes in franchise, brand management, environmental services and marketing services companies with attractive growth prospects. Roark focuses on middle market investment opportunities through family-owned business transfers, management and corporate buyouts, recapitalizations, going-private transactions and corporate divestitures. The firm has more than $2.5 billion of equity capital under management.

Harris Williams & Co. (, a member of The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. (NYSE:PNC), is a preeminent middle market investment bank focused on the advisory needs of clients worldwide. The firm has deep industry knowledge, global transaction expertise, and an unwavering commitment to excellence. Harris Williams & Co. provides sell-side and acquisition advisory, restructuring advisory, board advisory, private placements, and capital markets advisory services.

Investment banking services are provided by Harris Williams LLC, a registered broker-dealer and member of FINRA and SIPC, and Harris Williams & Co. Ltd, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority. Harris Williams & Co. is a trade name under which Harris Williams LLC and Harris Williams & Co. Ltd conduct business.

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