Electronics and the Circular Economy: A Conversation with Jeff Zeigler and Tom Meredith, Partner at Brightstar Capital Partners

August 20, 2019

At Brightstar Capital Partners, we have a sharp focus on investing in and growing the value of middle market companies. A vital element of our value-creation model is the broad industry expertise and leadership of our investment team and portfolio company partners.

Here, two of Brightstar’s team members provide their insight into the rapidly growing “circular economy” for the reclamation and repurposing of electronic devices, and explain how this can create economic value and support environmental stewardship. Tom Meredith is a Partner at Brightstar and is Chairman of Global Resale, a portfolio company that is a leader in reverse logistics services for the telecom and electronics sectors. Earlier, Tom held senior positions at Dell, Sun Microsystems and Amdahl Capital Corporation. Jeff Zeigler is the Founder, CEO and a Director of Global Resale, and has nearly 20 years of experience in the resale and reverse logistics space. He founded TechTurn in 1999 and led the business up to and following its acquisition by Arrow Electronics. Brightstar Capital Partners closed its acquisition on Global Resale in 2016.


  1. What is the circular economy as it relates to electronics and digital technology?

In the circular economy, products such as electronic devices are recaptured, refurbished or recycled, so the products or their individual components can be put back into productive use. This extends the useful life of devices and component materials, helps keep hazardous materials out of the environment, and has the potential to reduce the cost of digital technology. Because this approach dramatically reduces waste by putting devices back into use, it is a more “green” solution than electronic recycling alone, which can involve significant amounts of energy usage.


  1. Why is the circular economy increasingly relevant today; why are people and businesses paying more attention to it now?

To understand why the circular economy is increasing in importance, we only have to look at the explosive growth of electronic devices around the world. The affordability of and access to consumer electronics, the rise of digital technology in business, and the expanding adoption of the Internet of Things (IoT) have led to a vast proliferation of electronic devices. By some estimates, the world may have as many as 50 billion connected devices by 2020.

Unfortunately, the growth in electronic devices is causing a dramatic increase in e-waste, which is now the fastest growing waste stream in the world. Experts project the e-waste stream to reach 52.2 million metric tons by 2021. The problem isn’t only the volume of e-waste, but also the nature of the materials, which can include toxic substances like lead, mercury, arsenic, cadmium, copper, beryllium, barium or chromium. As a result, globally we are seeing increased regulation of this issue, with many jurisdictions mandating electronics recycling.


  1. Isn’t there also a strong business case for participating in the circular economy for electronic devices?

Absolutely. There is enormous economic value in used electronic devices. The worldwide market for refurbished phones represents estimated wholesale revenue of around $14 billion, and that doesn’t include other consumer devices or corporate technology. There is also considerable economic value in recovering precious metals and other materials in e-waste, such as gold, silver, copper, platinum, and palladium. Overall, the World Economic Forum estimates the value of e-waste at $62.5 billion annually – and growing.

Disposing of used electronics also has an intangible cost, in terms of the extensive corporate and personal data stored on these devices. Without responsible refurbishment and reuse of these devices, vast amounts of data are left exposed.

Global Resale’s business model was built around the tremendous opportunity that exists in the circular economy. We partner with manufacturers, wireless carriers, retailers, resellers, leasing companies, and large corporate accounts to create a global network to reclaim and refurbish devices, sanitize data, and return products, components or materials to the global supply chain.

We have demonstrated that participating in the circular economy for electronics is not only the right thing to do from an environmental perspective. It also creates tremendous economic value and, by enabling smaller businesses and less developed nations to access repurposed devices, helps extend the benefits of the digital revolution to more participants.


  1. What does it take to become a global leader in the circular economy?

It’s vital to invest in the necessary infrastructure, systems and processes in order to be a trusted, reliable partner for major manufacturers, wireless carriers, retailers and other market participants. Industry leadership requires the ability to work across a complex value chain to handle all aspects of reverse logistics, including collection, data sanitization, reconditioning, components and materials harvesting, and resale in an efficient and responsible manner. Investments in data security, compliance with international regulatory standards, and financial management are also essential.

We also believe that playing a leadership role in the circular economy means being at the forefront of efforts to promote strong industry standards for environmentally responsible recycling. Senior executives of Global Resale were instrumental in the creation of the R2 Standard, the industry-wide certification program for electronics recyclers that agree to meet stringent environmental health and safety requirements. The adoption of the R2 Standard, and related cooperative efforts by the industry, have helped promote sound, uniform recycling practices around the world, and we are continuing to work to rewrite the Standard to make it even more effective.


  1. What’s next; how do you see the circular economy evolving?

Even with the huge number of devices in use today, the circular economy for electronics is still in its infancy and has tremendous growth potential. Just as Uber or Airbnb provide ways for many users to share a vehicle or a home, the circular economy will enable businesses to find new users for older technology – which optimizes use, increases affordability, and minimizes impact on the environment.

Developments such as the adoption of 5G, and the ongoing shift of corporate functions to the cloud, will accelerate the introduction of new devices and the phase-out of older models. We expect the largest growth in the addressable market will be in corporate data center equipment, mobile devices, and technology related to the IoT.

Environmental concerns also will drive the growth of the circular economy. The largest regional producers of e-waste are North America and Western Europe, while the largest recipients are China, Brazil, Mexico, Eastern Europe and parts of Africa. International regulations simply won’t tolerate this dumping over the long term, and we will see more enforcement of collection and electronic recycling.

The circular economy will continue to evolve and grow through deepening levels of trust and cooperation in the industry, as all participants in the chain come to trust the value proposition the circular economy provides. Device manufacturers must recognize that the secondary market won’t cannibalize their existing business, and they must make products that are optimized for long-term durability. Similarly, customers must be able to trust that their data will be purged and handled properly, and also must trust that the refurbished products will be useful and of high quality. The standards and certifications in place provide a solid basis for this deep level of trust throughout the industry, and maintaining industry focus and cooperation will help drive this forward.

At Global Resale, we will continue making investments to be a more valuable partner. We believe a relentless commitment to quality and customer service will help drive an unmatched customer experience and help create a strong industry-leading brand that our partners can know and trust. We will grow our global network and expand our range of services, such as providing analytics and other innovations to manufacturers, to make the secondary market a clear “win-win” for all participants. As we continue to invest in our system, the circular economy will become more attractive to a greater range of technology providers and end-users.

MEDIA CONTACT:

Zach Kouwe/Shree Dhond
Dukas Linden Public Relations
212-704-7385
brightstar@dlpr.com

5G is the Greatest Infrastructure Project in U.S. History

By Dr. Raul Deju, Partner, Brightstar Capital Partners and Board Member, QualTek

August 7, 2019

Are you watching the growth in data transmission and connectivity in America? Well here are some facts that will give you an idea of the unprecedented consumer demand in wireless and how this is impacting your life and will impact you even more in the future.

As we reach the 10-year mark from 2010 to 2020, wireless use has grown at an unprecedented pace. In 2010 reported wireless data traffic was 388 billion megabytes, by the end of 2018 that grew to 28.5 trillion megabytes, a 75-fold growth. By the end of 2020 the data traffic should exceed 40 trillion megabytes.

Today there are nearly 1.3 mobile phone devices for each of us in America, and this does not include the data-only devices like smart watches, health monitoring devices and a myriad of equipment that is directly connected through a wireless network. It is conservatively estimated that there are more than 150 million data-only devices connected in the U.S. today.

Of course this growth in connectivity is not without a need of capital investment. Since the launch of the 4G program in 2010 and now into the beginning of the 5G effort, industry in the U.S. has invested well over a quarter of a trillion dollars in capital to develop the capacity and the coverage of America’s wireless networks, while also upgrading the technology needed to support 5G. This is certainly one of the largest infrastructure development programs ever in the history of the world. In fact, by comparison the U.S. spent $130 billion over 40 years in building the 43,000 miles of the National Highway System that crosses our nation, about half what industry has already spent in getting to 5G – and we are not there yet.

To date there are more than 350,000 cell sites in America. When you look at the portion of the U.S. that is inhabited (47% of the total land mass) that translates to 1 cell site for each 5 square miles. Translation – there is an enormous growth yet to come!

5G is the greatest infrastructure project ever in America. As we noted earlier, its impact will far exceed the National Highway System and the national electrification effort in prior decades. In addition, 5G is one of the major engines of today’s economic growth. Beginning with the band-spectrum licenses, 5G has contributed $116 billion dollars directly to the US Treasury and over the next 5 years can likely contribute an additional $400 billion. At the rate of growth of the 5G effort we will, over the next decade, create more than three million directly-connected American jobs. This infrastructure thrust also will add between ½ and ¾ of a trillion dollars to our nation’s GDP.

5G is also very important in new things like autonomous cars (self-driving). The current 4G network is only fast enough to online stream full HD content, play games and carry on some basic online functions but not fast enough for millions of fully autonomous cars to be driven in the US every minute of the day (Note: Autonomous cars do not need to be connected to the internet to drive, the internet is just used for downloads). Nonetheless, partly autonomous cars are here today and some fully autonomous cars are on the roads, but without 5G a full realization of this feature nationwide is not yet possible. Of course, there are developments in artificial intelligence and ultra-fast machine decision logic that are also happening and should definitely turn fully autonomous cars into reality in the near future.

You can see 5G is one of the most significant efforts you will see in your lifetime. It is transforming the way we live, move, and think and it opens up worldwide collaboration. It makes many unthinkable opportunities possible while creating many high paying jobs in America.

Data used in this piece comes from many private and public sources all deemed reliable. Information has been cross checked and peer reviewed.

MEDIA CONTACT:

Zach Kouwe/Shree Dhond
Dukas Linden Public Relations
212-704-7385
brightstar@dlpr.com

Brightstar Capital Partners Forms InfraServ US, LLC to Acquire Gateway Bobcat, LLC in Partnership with Existing Ownership and Management

New Capital Will Facilitate Growth in Consolidating, Fragmented Industry

ST. LOUIS, MO, June. 19, 2019 – Brightstar Capital Partners (“Brightstar”), a private investment firm that partners with closely held, family-owned middle market companies, today announced the acquisition of Gateway Bobcat, LLC (“Gateway Bobcat” or the “Company”), in partnership with Gateway Bobcat’s Founder and CEO Dan Anich, President Mike Allen, and members of its leadership team. The transaction is the first through Brightstar’s newly-formed company, InfraServ US, LLC, which will serve as an industrial equipment dealership and services platform.

Headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri, Gateway Bobcat is a provider of Bobcat® and Doosan®-branded industrial equipment, and has grown rapidly from a single dealership in 1990 to 11 locations across Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, and Tennessee. In addition to serving as a dealer of new and used equipment, Gateway Bobcat maintains a rental fleet as well as a significant parts and services offering.

“Gateway Bobcat has been extremely adept at building meaningful scale in the fragmented industrial equipment and services industry,” said Andrew Weinberg, Managing Partner and CEO of Brightstar. “Gateway Bobcat is the centerpiece of our plans to build an industrial equipment dealership and services platform through InfraServ US.”

“The Gateway Bobcat team is delighted to be partnering with Brightstar to help realize our potential for growth,” said Dan Anich, the Company’s Founder and CEO. “Brightstar will bring additional investment capital into the Company, as well as a proven track record of supporting enterprising businesses through strategic thinking, talent development, and operational, financial and transactional expertise.”

“We are excited by the opportunity to invest in the further success of this dynamic entrepreneurial business, whose management team has shown its ability to grow both organically and through consolidation, to build solid relationships with customers and its major OEM supplier, and to create systems and processes needed to support a scalable business,” said Joseph Bartek, Managing Director of Brightstar.

“We look forward to a bright future as we work together to build on Gateway Bobcat’s leadership in the industrial equipment marketplace,” said Mike Allen, President of Gateway Bobcat

About Gateway Bobcat, LLC and InfraServ US, LLC
Gateway Bobcat, LLC, founded in 1990 and based in St. Louis, operates principally as a provider of Bobcat® and Doosan®-branded industrial equipment sales, parts and service, and rental services across its footprint of 11 dealership locations spanning Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, and Tennessee. InfraServ US, LLC was created to facilitate the growth of the industrial services dealership business and serve as a platform company for future investments. For more information please visit www.bobcatofstl.com.

About Brightstar Capital Partners
Brightstar Capital Partners is a private equity firm focused on investing in closely-held companies. Brightstar seeks partnership opportunities with exceptional management teams where it is uniquely positioned to drive value creation. Brightstar seeks control investments and employs an operationally intensive approach to investing that leverages its extensive experience and relationship network. For more information please visit www.brightstarcapitalpartners.com.

MEDIA CONTACT:

Zach Kouwe/Shree Dhond
Dukas Linden Public Relations
212-704-7385
brightstar@dlpr.com

Investing in Water Infrastructure Development: A Conversation with Raul A. Deju, Partner at Brightstar Capital Partners

At Brightstar Capital Partners, we have a sharp focus on investing in and growing the value of middle market companies. A vital element of our value-creation model is the industry expertise that our roster of Senior Partners brings to our investment process and our portfolio companies.

One of our Partners, Raul A. Deju, is the Chairman of Texas Water Supply Company, a Brightstar portfolio company that brings water to the fast-growing Texas Hill Country. Raul is also a Ph.D. Hydrologist graduate from the New Mexico Institute of Technology, and author of seven books including “Regional Hydrology Fundamentals”, “The Environment and its Resources”, and “A Planet in Conflict.” Below, I ask Raul to give his perspective on how private capital can help forge a sustainable future in water development.


  1. What is the present state of America’s water sources and systems and what are the key factors that will drive growth in environmentally conscious water infrastructure development in the US?

Americans are the world’s largest per-capita users of water. We use about 3 times as much water as an average European consumer and 6 times as much as an average Chinese consumer. Our water needs are served by a patchwork of over 50,000 public and private water systems, leading to fragmented and sometimes inconsistent water management. Even with all that demand, our average cost of water can be as low as pennies per gallon. So we place very heavy demands on our water infrastructure, but we don’t have consistent management policies or sufficient resources to invest in the proper maintenance and expansion of that infrastructure.

Forty percent of America’s water infrastructure is over 40 years old. As our population grows toward 400 million by 2050, supplying water represents both a public challenge and a private sector investment opportunity. Estimates indicate that to just rehabilitate the existing US water supply/treatment and delivery infrastructure will require in excess of $1 trillion over the next decade – and to improve the systems to best-in-class level would take well over $3 trillion.

Fortunately, our society is starting to value water as it should be valued, which creates a good climate for investment. People in urban areas are demanding the availability of good quality water and are willing to pay higher prices. In the past nine years the average price of water in the US has increased over 50% and such increases are likely to continue in the immediate future.

The global debate around climate change also has raised awareness of the topic of investment in water. Given the need to conserve water, many local systems are educating consumers about water-saving practices. Water systems across the country are also increasing the price of water to fund improvements to make their infrastructure more efficient and reliable.


  1. Why is private equity an appropriate vehicle for investment in water infrastructure? What can private capital do that public resources cannot do as well?

Federal and state governments generally play a small role in water investing. Opportunities for investments in water have expanded as local governments run short of cash and must turn to the private sector to fund upgrades, run local systems and meet environmental standards. Also, consolidation in the industry is accelerating.

Private equity firms have the capital to invest in infrastructure – along with deep expertise in consolidating and turning around businesses – so they’re well-positioned to help our American water systems achieve greater efficiency.

At the same time, water infrastructure is an attractive vehicle for pension funds and other investors who are seeking alternative investments that avoid the volatility of equity markets while providing greater yields than bonds. Demand for sustainable sources of quality water is growing, the price keeps improving, and there is expertise in the private equity space to create value through water investments.


  1. What are the most attractive areas for water investment: supply, distribution, treatment, client services, etc.?

Many fund managers now see the water space as an investment opportunity for the long-term on an essential commodity that is scarce in many regions.

For example, there are opportunities – especially in water-short areas where population is rapidly growing – to buy thousands of acres of land with viable water rights, aquifers, surface water access, and even small private water utilities that have been neglected. Opportunities also exist to invest in the efficient extraction of water from aquifers, the efficient use of surface waters, desalination, and even the re-use of treated water. Another opportunity is the consolidation of small water systems with large ones to create a larger company that can better deliver needed services. Or, one can invest in the infrastructure companies needed to repair and replace the current crumbling system and upgrade obsolete technologies.


  1. How are investors building scale in water infrastructure?

Investors are increasingly consolidating a myriad of water companies – many of which are really too small to operate effectively. These investors are finding it profitable to acquire a small water system that can become the “anchor” for combining other small units into a bigger structure, which can then be upgraded.

Other investors are agglomerating water supply sources in fast-growing metro areas and selling very long term supply contracts to producing entities that are becoming water-short because of the rapid growth in their area of service.


  1. What attributes must be present in a specific region or metro area (demographics, economic growth, public agency structure, etc.) to make it an attractive place to invest in its water development?

The best target areas for investment in water are those smaller systems that cannot meet the needs of their users, in areas where demographic growth and industrial use growth warrant price increases to pay back the investments needed to modernize existing water systems.

Economic development assistance and good working relations with regulatory bodies are also a must. The public and private sectors must collaborate to turn around our rapidly deteriorating water infrastructure – to make peoples’ lives better and increase the growth potential of our communities. There are things the private sector can do better, cheaper, and faster than the public sector, while the public sector can do some things that the private sector cannot. Through the right partnership, we can achieve success more effectively, faster and at the lowest cost to consumers. The private sector can create better service to customers with upgraded systems that are also operated in an environmentally friendly manner.

MEDIA CONTACT:

Zach Kouwe/Shree Dhond
Dukas Linden Public Relations
212-704-7385

The Middle Market: Where Shared Prosperity Deserves Cultivation

By Andrew S. Weinberg, Founder, Managing Partner & CEO, Brightstar Capital Partners

For the 2019 Milken Institute Global Conference, we asked speakers to consider what prosperity means. See their insights and share your thoughts using #MIGlobal. See more coverage on the Milken Institute LinkedIn page. This article originally appeared in the #PowerofIdeas. See the entire POI series.

More than ever, the business headlines and social media chatter seem to be dominated by the nation’s largest companies and biggest brands. From Elon Musk’s tweets, Levi’s IPO, and Disney’s acquisition of Fox, the big corporate powerhouses dominate our attention. To be sure, these companies have a sizable impact on the economy and are perceived to be the leaders when it comes to product innovation and corporate stewardship. But what is often overlooked is how important businesses in the middle market are to ensuring the prosperity we have experienced over the last 30 years is shared by as many as possible.

Big brands certainly move the markets, but we need to remember that the middle market (defined as companies with revenues between $10 million and $1 billion) accounts for more than one-third the nation’s GDP and total employment, according to the National Center for the Middle Market. They are also responsible for 60 percent of new jobs in the private sector. Employment at middle-market companies grew by 5.4 percent last year alone.

As private equity investors in founder-led and family-owned middle-market companies, we play a role in helping this under-recognized part of the economy thrive. A significant part of that role involves thinking carefully about how we can add value to a business not just by increasing the top line and bottom line but also by collaborating with management to plan for the long term by adopting and improving on the best global business practices. We see opportunity partnering with middle-market companies to move to the next level of social and corporate responsibility—focusing on all stakeholders, including the communities they operate in and the institutions that support them.

What is more, we’ve found that these businesses, especially ones that are family owned, are eager partners in ensuring their prosperity is shared by everyone. As we have evaluated hundreds of middle-market businesses over the years, we see a very real desire to invest heavily in innovation and disruption. In fact, with careful cultivation, these companies are in a unique position to more nimbly adopt progressive business practices or address societal inequalities through corporate initiatives. That results in prosperity not only for our investors and partners but also for employees, other stakeholders, and the surrounding community.

According to the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation, middle-market companies are the “life blood” of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). We cannot have shared prosperity without focusing more on these companies, as they tend to have a greater direct effect on the communities in which they operate and on individual employees and other stakeholders. Many middle-market companies are still family owned, with strong cultures and shared values that have led to both business success and community engagement. Part of our job as investors and partners is to make sure those values are preserved as we help take the company to the next level of growth.

A closer look at the corporate behavior of middle-market companies shows very encouraging signs. A recent report created by the RSM US Middle Market Business Index, in conjunction with Moody’s Analytics and the US Chamber of Commerce, found that 90 percent of middle-market companies are engaged in some form of CSR. These companies invest broadly in community organizations, education, children and youth issues, and other areas to support the prosperity of their local communities, combat inequalities, and improve their business environment. The same report found that 88 percent of middle-market companies are focused on diversity and inclusion, indicating a commitment to equitable business models and inclusive growth as well.

It is clear that businesses in the middle market are poised to employ ever progressive business practices in the future, but we, as stewards of capital, can play a significant role in helping them advance the prosperity of their communities and remain focused on the long term. In turn, these businesses will attract the next generation of business leaders, to whom a professional commitment to the well-being of society as a whole is increasingly important.

While the nation’s largest companies are vitally important to the economy, thought leaders, institutions, and investors shouldn’t ignore the importance of smaller companies in shaping our shared prosperity. With the right attention and support, we will only see the middle market grow as an economic force, as well as a source of innovation and a driver of shared prosperity.

MEDIA CONTACT:

Zach Kouwe/Shree Dhond
Dukas Linden Public Relations
212-704-7385
brightstar@dlpr.com

QualTek Expands Midwest Presence in Wireless Services with Acquisition of Vertical Limit

KING OF PRUSSIA, PA, April 1, 2019/PRNewswire/ – QualTek, a leading provider of turnkey solutions, including engineering, installation, fulfillment, recovery logistics and program management to the North American telecommunications and power sectors, is pleased to announce it has acquired Vertical Limit LLC, a highly-respected provider of infrastructure services to the wireless telecommunications industry. The acquisition of Vertical Limit continues QualTek’s expansion strategy across North America as demand from wireless customers and partners continues to grow with significant 5G expansion nationwide.

Founded in 2002 and headquartered in Wanamingo, MN, Vertical Limit has built a significant presence across the Midwest, Great Lakes and Rocky Mountain regions with a large customer base of major wireless carriers.

“Vertical Limit has built an impressive track record of high-quality service. We are very excited to welcome their employees and management team to the QualTek team,” said Scott Hisey, CEO of QualTek. “We continue to grow our employee base and geographic footprint in response to increasing demand from our customers across the telecommunications, infrastructure and power industries and the acquisition of Vertical Limit is an important part of our long-term strategy.”

“Joining QualTek will allow us to diversify our customer and geographic base while maintaining the high quality and safety standards that we are known for,” said Erik Bicknese, CEO of Vertical Limit. “We are excited to be able to leverage QualTek’s resources and knowledge base for the benefit of our employees and partners across North America.”

About QualTek
QualTek is one of the largest providers of turnkey services to the North American telecommunications, infrastructure and power industries. Through its 85 service locations and 4,000 dedicated professionals, QualTek provides its partners and clients with a range of services including engineering, construction, disaster recovery, project management, customer fulfilment, communications upgrades and infrastructure improvements. QualTek is a premier partner to some of the largest companies in the wireless, satellite, wireline and power sectors. For more information please visit www.qualtekservices.com.

About Vertical Limit
Vertical Limit is a provider of infrastructure services in the wireless telecommunications industry. The Company’s team of wireless experts plan, build, modify, and maintain wireless networks across North America. The Company is headquartered in Minnesota with offices in Colorado, Texas, Wisconsin, and Illinois. For more information please visit www.verticallimit.com.

MEDIA CONTACT:

Zach Kouwe
Dukas Linden Public Relations
212-704-7385

Brightstar Capital Partners Announces Promotions and New Hires

NEW YORK, NY, December 13thBrightstar Capital Partners (“Brightstar”), a private investment firm that partners with closely-held, family-owned middle market companies, has announced the promotions of Renee Noto to President, Matthew Allard to Partner and Ronak Amin, Ross Kilroy and Lindsey Tannenbaum to Principals. The firm also announced that Reidar Brekke has joined as a Senior Partner and Jarrett Arkin as a Vice President.

On making the announcement, Andrew Weinberg, Founder, CEO and Managing Partner said: “These promotions and appointments further ensure the firm’s leadership is well positioned as we continue to grow and pursue new investment opportunities in the middle market.”

Mr. Weinberg continued: “Renee has been an invaluable partner to our team since we launched Brightstar. This announcement is a testament to her depth of experience and leadership. I’m excited to continue to work with her as we grow Brightstar.”

Matthew Allard has been with Brightstar from its early days and has been instrumental in structuring and leading many of the firm’s investments. He serves as the Vice Chairman of the Board of QualTek and a Board member of Texas Water Supply Company, both Brightstar portfolio companies.

“I have had the pleasure of working with Matt since 2003 and his strong values, experience and investment acumen continue to enhance the value we bring to our portfolio companies.” said Mr. Weinberg.

Announcing the promotions of Mr. Amin, Mr. Kilroy and Ms. Tannenbaum to Principal, and appointment of Mr. Arkin as VP Mr. Weinberg noted: “These promotions and new appointment mark the end of a fantastic year for Brightstar and represent the continued growth and strength of our firm. Ronak, Ross and Lindsey have each played a key role in our investments, adding significant value to our portfolio companies on behalf of our investors and partners. They demonstrate on a daily basis the skills and characteristics that we value as a firm and I’m proud to be able to recognize this by advancing them to Principal.”

Brightstar is also pleased to announce that Reidar Brekke has joined as Senior Partner. Since 2003, Mr. Brekke has worked closely with Mr. Weinberg on investments and management in the transportation and logistics sectors. He also helps expand Brightstar’s relationship network in the Southeastern U.S.

“As opportunities in the middle market continue to grow, we have correctly positioned Brightstar to take advantage of these opportunities and Reidar expands both our sector expertise and geographic footprint,” said Mr. Weinberg. “We’re thrilled to welcome him to the firm.”

About Brightstar Capital Partners
Brightstar Capital Partners is a private equity firm focused on investing in closely-held companies. Brightstar seeks partnership opportunities with exceptional management teams where it is uniquely positioned to drive value creation. Brightstar seeks control investments and employs an operationally intensive approach to investing that leverages its extensive experience and relationship network. For more information please visit www.brightstarcapitalpartners.com.

MEDIA CONTACT:

Zach Kouwe/Shree Dhond
Dukas Linden Public Relations
212-704-7385

QualTek Expands Suite of Services in the Telecommunications and Power Industries with Acquisitions of Recovery Logistics, LLC and Site Resources, LLC

KING OF PRUSSIA, PA, Oct. 16, 2018 – QualTek USA, LLC (“QualTek” or the “Company”), a leading provider of turnkey solutions, including engineering, installation, fulfillment and program management to the North American telecommunications and power sectors, announced today that it has completed the purchase of Recovery Logistics, LLC (“RLI”) and Site Resources, LLC (“SRI”). These companies will expand QualTek’s comprehensive suite of services and support in the telecommunications and power utility sectors.

RLI, headquartered in Apex, North Carolina, is a leading provider of business continuity and disaster recovery services, including a wide range of logistics, maintenance and repair services to the telecommunications and power utility sectors. SRI provides cell site installation, upgrades, repairs and maintenance of wireless network infrastructures and works in conjunction with RLI on disaster relief services.

“We are very excited to acquire a company that expands our full suite of turnkey services, providing critical support to customers across the power and telecommunications industries,” said QualTek’s CEO, Scott Hisey. “RLI/SRI has an impeccable reputation in the industry and brings a comprehensive and highly unique approach to solving complex problems for our customer base. We believe there is a significant opportunity to leverage their platform to QualTek’s customers while continuing to build out the full suite of services to the power industry.”

Tom Mix will remain CEO of RLI under a newly created division of QualTek. Tom said, “We’re thrilled to be joining forces with QualTek, which will help take our business to the next level by expanding our access to services and expertise as well as diversifying our customer base, existing workforce and geographic footprint.”

About QualTek
Based in King of Prussia, PA, QualTek is a leading provider of turnkey solutions, including engineering, installation, fulfillment and program management, to the North American telecommunications and power sectors. The company provides end-to-end infrastructure services solutions to the wireline (NX Utilities and NX Utilities Canada), wireless (Empire Telecom and Velocitel), and residential and commercial fulfillment (QualSat, ACI and Premier) segments of the market. With experienced management, qualified field technicians, state-of-the-art data management systems and a dedicated network of vendors, QualTek is a premier partner to some of the largest leading companies in the telecommunications and power industries. For more information please visit www.qualtekservices.com.

About RLI/SRI
RLI is a leading provider of business continuity and disaster recovery operations for the telecommunications and power utility sectors. RLI helps businesses recover from unplanned events, including hurricanes, winter storms and floods. SRI is a provider of wireless services, including cell site installation, upgrades, repairs and maintenance of wireless network infrastructures and works in conjunction with RLI on disaster relief services. For more information visit www.recoverylogistics.net.

MEDIA CONTACT:

Zach Kouwe/Shree Dhond
Dukas Linden Public Relations
zkouwe@dlpr.com/shree@dlpr.com
212-704-7385

Mergers & Acquisitions: 10 PE firms with fresh capital

Slideshow 10 PE firms armed with fresh capital
By
Demitri Diakantonis
Mary Kathleen Flynn

1 / Private equity fundraising has slowed down in 2018, after a strong 8-year run. The amount of capital raised annually for new funds by U.S. private equity firms increased more than threefold from 2010 (when nearly $71 billion was raised) to 2017 (when $243 billion was raised). But U.S. PE firms closed only $69 billion worth of new funds during the first half of 2018, a far cry from 2017 and on pace for a six-year low, according to Pitchbook. Here’s a look at 10 PE firms that have succeeded in raising new funds recently despite the slowdown, including the Carlyle Group (Nasdaq: CG), PPC Partners, Soundcore Capital Partners and Sycamore Partners. The fundraising data is culled by Mergers & Acquisitions from a variety of sources, including SEC filings, Thomson Reuters and company press releases. For fundraising news on an on-going basis, see our weekly column, PE fundraising scorecard: Audax and Advent.

2 / Brighstar Capital Partners
Middle-market private equity firm Brightstar Capital Partners, founded by Andrew Weinberg, closed its inaugural fund at $710 million. New York-based Brightstar, which invests up to $250 million in businesses, has already invested in three portfolio companies: logistics technology provider Global Resale, QualTek USA LLC, a provider of engineering, installation, fulfillment and program management, and water supplier Texas Water Supply Co.

For full article:
Click here.

MEDIA CONTACT:

Zach Kouwe / Shree Dhond
Dukas Linden Public Relations
212-704-7385
brightstar@dlpr.com

Brightstar Capital Partners Closes Acquisition of QualTek and Two Concurrent Add-On Acquisitions

– Addition of NX Canada Wireline Business and Premier Cable Fulfillment Expands QualTek’s Range of Telecommunications Services –

NEW YORK, July 19, 2018 – Brightstar Capital Partners (“Brightstar”), a private investment firm that partners with closely-held, family-owned middle market companies, today announced that it has completed the previously announced acquisition of QualTek USA, LLC (“QualTek” or the “Company”), in partnership with QualTek senior management. Following its transaction with Brightstar, QualTek completed the acquisitions of two additional businesses: NX Canada, a leading wireline installation and engineering services company in Canada, and Premier CC Inc., a full-service cable and network installation company with operations across the United States.

The add-on acquisitions will complement and strengthen QualTek’s range of solutions for the North American telecommunications sector, which include engineering, installation, fulfillment and program management. QualTek is led by CEO Scott Hisey and its senior management team, who are also investors in the Company.

NX Canada provides a range of telecommunications installation and engineering services, including coaxial and fiber optic services, repair and maintenance, sweep and certification services, noise reduction and plant hardening services. It serves a large and diverse customer base in the Canadian market.

Premier CC specializes in providing cable and network fulfillment services, consisting primarily of installation, configuration and repair services for residential and commercial customers. Its installation services support VoIP, high speed internet and data, video/digital and home security.

“We are excited that we have already begun to deliver on our growth strategy, immediately after completing the transaction with Brightstar and our senior management team,” said Mr. Hisey. “The growth capital and strategic resources provided by Brightstar have enabled us to complete the value-added acquisitions of NX Canada and Premier, which will expand QualTek’s geographic presence, diversify our customer base, and reinforce our leadership position as a provider of a wide array of solutions for the telecommunications industry.”

“QualTek is an exceptionally well-managed company that has created a solid platform for serving the dynamic, fast-growing wireless and wireline communications market. We are excited by the Company’s growth prospects, as demonstrated by the NX Canada and Premier acquisitions, and we look forward to working with the QualTek team to build a major player in the business of providing solutions to the telecommunications sector,” said Andrew Weinberg, Brightstar’s Founder and Managing Partner.

About Brightstar Capital Partners
Brightstar Capital Partners is a private equity firm focused on investing in closely-held companies. Brightstar seeks partnership opportunities with exceptional management teams where it is uniquely positioned to drive value creation. Brightstar seeks control investments and employs an operationally intensive approach to investing that leverages its extensive experience and relationship network. For more information please visit www.brightstarcapitalpartners.com.

About QualTek
Based in King of Prussia, PA, QualTek is a leading provider of turnkey solutions, including engineering, installation, fulfillment and program management, to the North American telecommunications and power sectors. The company provides end-to-end infrastructure services solutions to the wireline (NX Utilities and NX Utilities Canada), wireless (Empire Telecom and Velocitel), and residential and commercial fulfillment (QualSat, ACI and Premier) segments of the market. With experienced management, qualified field technicians, state-of-the-art data management systems and a dedicated network of contractors, QualTek is a premier partner to some of the largest leading companies in the telecommunications and power industries. For more information please visit www.qualtekservices.com.

MEDIA CONTACT:

Zach Kouwe/Shree Dhond
Dukas Linden Public Relations
212-704-7385
brightstar@dlpr.com