Audax Private Equity Completes the Sale of Smart Care Equipment Solutions to Zone Climate Services

MAR 2022

Audax Private Equity (“Audax”) today announced that it has completed the sale of Smart Care Equipment Solutions (“Smart Care” or the “Company”), a leading provider of commercial kitchen equipment maintenance services, to Zone Climate Services, a provider of mission-critical refrigeration and HVAC services that is backed by Wind Point Partners. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Headquartered in Minneapolis / St. Paul, Minnesota, Smart Care helps some of the largest and most selective foodservice brands maximize revenue and deliver their brand promise by providing repair and maintenance services that help ensure their customers’ commercial kitchen equipment is operational. Working in partnership with Audax, the Smart Care team executed on Audax’ Buy & Build strategy, completing 14 add-on acquisitions, growing to over 1,400 employees, and completing over 350,000 service events annually.

Since partnering with Audax in November 2017, Smart Care delivered this transformational growth and value creation by:

  • Successfully carving out the business from a Fortune 250 company, which included establishing the new Smart Care brand, building essential functional teams, and adding capabilities required to help deliver on ambitious growth targets.
  • Transforming Smart Care into a strategic asset with significant investments in talent and a world class IT infrastructure, including proprietary reporting that enables customers to maximize uptime and reduce operating costs.
  • Leveraging investments in sales and innovation to drive organic growth.
  • Acquiring 14 service companies that strengthened Smart Care’s core service offering, while entering two adjacent markets to better serve customers.

Don Bramley, Managing Director at Audax, said, “We are proud of the business we built working with the Smart Care team. From the start, we were aligned on how we would execute our Buy & Build strategy to help create a company that would deliver value for Smart Care’s customers, associates, communities, and investors. We wish Bill Emory, Smart Care’s CEO, and the entire Smart Care organization continued success as they embark on their next chapter of growth.”

Bill Emory added, “My Team and I feel very fortunate to have had Audax as a partner over the past four years. They played a critical role in our success by providing unmatched operational expertise and deep business acumen where we needed them. In short, our success is a direct reflection of what Don and his Team brought to Smart Care and they share equally in our success. Looking forward, we are excited partner with Zone Climate Services to continue to execute on our growth strategy. As I move into a new role as Smart Care Equipment Solution’s Chairman, I am excited to work closely with Smart Care’s talented and new CEO, Henry Lees-Buckley, who will manage the combined organization.”

Harris Williams served as financial advisor and Ropes & Gray served as legal advisor to Audax Private Equity.