Middle-market private equity firm Nautic Partners has formed HES Facilities in partnership with management to provide custodial and maintenance services to K12 and higher education customers across the US.

Headquartered in Knoxville, Tennessee, and founded in May, HES intends to grow via acquisition of highly performing regional companies across the US, as well as sustained organic growth. In conjunction with its formation in May, HES acquired SMS, which was founded in 2007 and together with HES serves higher education and K12 customers in Tennessee, Georgia, and South Carolina.

HES is led by Charlie Spencer as president and chief executive, and Buddy Helton as chairman. They previously worked together at the education facility services segment of GCA Services (a former Nautic portfolio company). The two also partnered more recently at ESS, a current Nautic portfolio company, where Mr. Helton will remain as chief executive.

Helton said: “We are excited to have the support of Nautic as we seek to build HES into a strong national player. Our management team and customer relationships are very strong today and we believe they will only improve over time through this partnership. We are actively looking for companies to join our platform and we aspire to be the acquirer of choice for high performing family-owned companies in the education facility services industry.”

Spencer added: “Particularly in light of the unprecedented budgetary and health challenges posed to schools by Covid-19, HES is proud to have the management depth and experience to offer the very highest levels of cleaning and facility maintenance services at a competitive cost.”

Bernie Buonanno, managing director of Nautic, said: “Nautic is fortunate to have known Buddy and Charlie for many years, and to have supported them at GCA, ESS, and now HES. We believe our long-term and successful relationship is a testament to their talents and is an example of how we aspire to be the partner of choice for top management teams.”

Nautic Partners is headquartered in Providence, Rhode Island.

Date published: 20 August 2020

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