Houlihan Lokey Advises Kohlberg & Company

Houlihan Lokey is pleased to announce that Kohlberg & Company, LLC (Kohlberg), a New York-based private equity firm, has acquired Area Wide Protective (AWP), a leading utility services firm.

Kohlberg is a leading private equity firm headquartered in Mount Kisco, New York. Since its inception in 1987, the company has organized nine private equity funds, through which it has raised more than $10 billion of committed equity capital. Over its 33-year history, Kohlberg has completed 83 platform investments and nearly 200 add-on acquisitions, with an aggregate transaction value in excess of $27 billion.

Headquartered in North Canton, Ohio, AWP provides comprehensive traffic control and safety services to electric and gas utilities as well as telecommunications and infrastructure customers. With more than 5,000 employees in over 110 facilities across 21 states and eastern Canada, the company helps direct or reroute traffic in support of infrastructure maintenance, repair, or construction projects affecting public roads. AWP delivers a turnkey solution, providing on-site technicians, equipment, and vehicles, in addition to permitting and design services.

In conjunction with the transaction closing, John Sypek, who led AWP as CEO since 2012, has retired from executive duties but remains with the company as Vice Chairman, while Ron Childress has been named the company’s Chairman and CEO. Mr. Childress joins AWP following a 30-year career at Osmose Utilities Services, where he most recently served as CEO.

Since 1993, AWP has been providing traffic control management services to major utility companies, municipalities, and contractors. Its more than 110 locations provide daily operations that span over 21 U.S. states and eastern Canada. Known as North America’s traffic control leader, AWP is a comprehensive, one-stop traffic control organization, providing around-the-clock service every day of the year.

Houlihan Lokey served as the financial advisor to Kohlberg. This transaction highlights Houlihan Lokey’s preeminent position and continued success advising clients in the utility services sector.

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