For over 25 years, CPSI has been a trusted resource in the critical power solution business, providingexpertiseacross the entire spectrum of data center development, from one-off UPS systems to global cloud-based data center providers. The company’s turnkey approach allows its customers to achieve the highest uptime reliability at the lowest total cost, with customized solutions unique to each industry and client. Special to the industry, CPSI’s OnWatch program permits clients to monitor their entire power infrastructure anywhere from a single screen dashboard. Headquartered in Seattle, CPSI serves a wide range of blue-chip clients from coast to coast, with satellite offices in Sterling, VA; Columbus, OH; Portland and Hermiston, OR.
In our continued quest to deploy capital and find attractive investment opportunities, HKZ was introduced to John Dwyer - owner of CPSI - in early 2016. At the time Mr. Dwyer was seeking to diversify his estate and was looking for more professional management that could take CPSI to the next level. In order to do that, Mr. Dwyer partnered with HKZ.Since becoming partners, HKZ has guided leadership development, restructured management, recruited a new CEO and CFO, streamlined internal processes, helped CPSI expand geographically, initiated new marketing activities (new website) and helped CPSI enter the managed services market.
GuideK12 is a web-based SaaS, geovisual analytic tool that helps school districts visualize data, run scenarios and make informed decisions. Together with experts in education, demographics, analytics and technology, Guide K12 saw the potential for a new visualization software that would bring geovisual analytics into the education market for the first time.The company’s powerful web-based analytics suite helps a wide range of users within a school district — from the superintendent wanting to analyze trends affecting the budget, to a committee wanting to examine boundary changes, to a parent needing to know if their potential home purchase is in the preferred school zone. GuideK12’s analytics suite incorporates information from a variety of sources — enabling analysis, strategic planning, enrollment analysis, growth and consolidation analysis, along with the ability to view information spatially — bundled in a single user-friendly tool.
In 2012 Chuck Amos – a friend of Mr. Krieger - was exploring investment opportunities in the educational industry. Mr. Amos’ experience in building Apple Computer's K-12 market division, as well as his entrepreneurial experience in building and successfully selling his own business, made Mr. Amos uniquely suited to run the newly repositioned and repackaged GuideK12.Mr. Amos was impressed enough with the company's potential that he entered a MBO. HKZ backed Mr. Amos in his MBO of Guide K12 with a minority investment.In 2016, Guide K12 attained several key milestones. The company had 68 school districts, representing 1.4 million students, using its geo-analytics system. The company achieved positive net income and was cash-flow positive for the year. Guide K12 delivered sales growth of 27% over 2015 levels and achieved its highest customer renewal rate ever at 97%.
R.F. Stearns, Inc., headquartered in West Linn, Oregon (10 miles south of Portland), is the market leader in design-build and design-assist construction for steel structures in the Western United States. In addition to its comprehensive services, the company offers a portfolio of products, including custom engineered and pre-engineered structural steel, as well as proprietary steel products. The company's breadth of capabilities has made Stearns the company of choice for the design and erection of steel structures for healthcare, industrial, office, retail, parking, aviation, multi-level residential and recreational facilities.
In 2008, HKZ Private Capital purchased Stearns due to their strong operational value-add formula which allowed them to take advantage of their position in the market place to create strong growth in services and geographic expansion. We helped Stearns navigate the worst financial construction crisis in decades and expanded internationally with operations in Istanbul, Turkey completing jobs throughout the middle east, north Africa and eastern Europe. In addition, we steered a leadership change and hired two new CEOs.
Laidlaw Company LLC manufactures and sells chemicals, paper products and wire garment hangers for retail, drycleaning, and laundry industries in the United States and Canada. The company’s hanger products include stock printed, custom printed, standard, special, juveniles, strut, shirt, drapery, and uniform rental hangers. The company also provides packaging accessories such as shoulder forms, skirt clips, collar supports, drapery saddles, drapery tubes, trouser guards, tie-packs, and shirt boxes. In addition, Laidlawoffered chemical products, such as spot and stain removers, sizing products, water and stain repellents, drycleaning detergents, anti-static sprays, solvent additives, wetcleaning products, and laundry detergents. It also offers textile products such as aprons, barmops, towels, bedding, laundry bags, table tops, blankets, gowns and bibs, and mops and handles. The company sells its products through a network of resellers and distributors. The company was founded in 1917 and is headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona with plants in Metropolis, Illinois; Monticello, Wisconsin; Kingman, Arizona; Delaware, Nevada; Mississauga, Canada; and Nogales, Mexico.
In early 2006 HKZ Private Capital purchased Laidlaw Company LLC. In 2007, we sold the Laidlaw Chemical Division and focused on hanger production. We centralized inside sales and logistics management, consolidated warehouses, implemented a new accounting system, outsourced custom products, enhanced domestic warehouse sales, expanded industrial sales volume and strengthened brand equity. In addition, we moved manufacturing to Asia, reduced product cost in China, reduced China-direct shipping costs and standardized products and packaging from China. Through our initiatives, we grew Laidlaw Company into the world’s largest wire hanger producer and importer.
With over 20 years of experience, CleanPak International is a worldwide leader in the design, production and distribution of air handling equipment targeted specifically for ultra clean environments such as semiconductor and pharmaceutical manufacturing, and biopharma industries.The company’s fully-customized line of cleanroom equipment, includes ceiling grids, unidirectional plenums, recirculation air handlers, fan filter units, small cabinet fans, wall systems, engineering, and service and custom air handling equipment. Customers include leading multinational companies and institutions such as Intel, Motorola, IBM, Harvard University, Wyeth Laboratories and Bristol Meyers Squibb.
In January 2001, HKZ Private Capital purchased CleanPakfrom its Japanese owner SinkoKoygo, which had owned it since 1990.Although the company’s operating performance had been poor over the preceding years, its image and reputation for high quality and technologically advanced designs had weathered well in the eyes of customers. We saw a great opportunity to leverage our skills and turn around a company with a solid background. We were able to creatively structure the transaction in order to preserve $33 million in net operating loss carry forwards while maintaining operational control and favorable economics. Unfortunately, two months after purchase, and to the surprise of most industry experts at the time, the semiconductor industry entered into its most severe decline ever starting in March 2001.Consequently, we implemented significant internal “right-sizing” changes including hiring new leadership, integrating tighter financial costing and measurement systems, instilling enhanced quality measures, narrowing the product line and improving operating efficiencies. Over the course of our ownership, we were able to right the ship and increase the value of the company.