CHA Consulting Announces Sale from First Reserve to H.I.G. Capital

Transaction to Build on Company’s Strong Growth Strategy and Expand Industry-Leading Solutions

ALBANY, N.Y., Jan. 23, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — CHA Consulting, Inc. (CHA), an innovative, full-service engineering, design, consulting, and program management firm, today announced that it has been acquired by H.I.G. Capital (H.I.G.), a leading global alternative investment firm with $60 billion of capital under management, from First Reserve. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

CHA provides a wide range of technology-enabled design, engineering, project management, and consulting services to public, private, and institutional clients spanning numerous end markets, including government, manufacturing, transportation, utility, water resources, commercial, and education. The transaction, which closed on January 19, 2024, will enable the company to further capitalize on opportunities to accelerate growth and deliver industry-leading solutions.

In 2018, the company partnered with First Reserve, a leading global private equity investment firm. Since then, CHA has successfully executed its growth strategy, including more than doubling its employee base and revenues, while simultaneously growing earnings. During this period, CHA successfully acquired nine firms to significantly expand its geographic footprint in the Southeastern U.S., and scaled its transportation, water, program management, and advanced manufacturing services offerings. Going forward, CHA Consulting & Holdings President & CEO Jim Stephenson and the existing executive management team will continue to lead the company’s next phase of growth.

“This new partnership with H.I.G. begins an exciting next chapter in the evolution of CHA’s platform and validates the success we have achieved over the last five years alongside the First Reserve team,” said Mr. Stephenson. “H.I.G. brings tremendous financial and operational resources with a great track record supporting companies and delivering value. We are confident this partnership will further position CHA for substantial growth and will provide opportunities to better support our clients and the markets we serve.”

Matt Hankins, Managing Director at H.I.G. Capital, stated, “We look forward to working closely with the CHA team to invest in its team and expand on its industry-leading capabilities, while supporting the team’s growth strategy and selectively broadening its operational scope across North America, both organically and through continued acquisitions.”

Jeff Quake, Managing Director at First Reserve, stated, “We’ve had a very successful partnership with CHA since 2018, and we’re proud of the work we’ve done together to build an industry-leading company that prioritizes an employee-first culture with an unwavering focus on client success. CHA is well-positioned to accelerate its growth strategy and continue leading within the evolving AEC sector, and we wish Jim and the entire team well as they look to build on CHA’s momentum in this exciting new chapter.”

Houlihan Lokey, Inc. served as lead financial advisor with support from AEC Advisors, and Simpson Thatcher & Bartlett LLP served as legal counsel for CHA. Harris Williams LLC served as financial advisor and Ropes & Gray LLP served as legal counsel to H.I.G.

About CHA Consulting, Inc.

CHA Consulting, Inc. is an innovative, full-service engineering, design, consulting, and program management firm providing a wide range of technology-enhanced services to public, private, and institutional clients. We are focused on delivering sustainable, integrated solutions to the world’s most challenging infrastructure projects across utilities, transportation, water, and other critical commercial and industrial end-markets. CHA was ranked 69th largest engineering firm in the U.S. in 2023 by ENR, with approximately 1,800 employees and 50 offices throughout the U.S. and Canada; please visit www.chasolutions.com.

About H.I.G. Capital

H.I.G. Capital is a leading global alternative investment firm with $60 billion of capital under management.* Based in Miami, and with offices in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco in the United States, as well as international affiliate offices in Hamburg, London, Luxembourg, Madrid, Milan, Paris, Bogotá, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, and Dubai, H.I.G. specializes in providing both debt and equity capital to middle market companies, utilizing a flexible and operationally focused/value-added approach:

  1. H.I.G.’s equity funds invest in management buyouts, recapitalizations, and corporate carve-outs of both profitable as well as underperforming manufacturing and service businesses.
  2. H.I.G.’s debt funds invest in senior, unitranche, and junior debt financing to companies across the size spectrum, both on a primary (direct origination) basis, as well as in the secondary markets. H.I.G. also manages a publicly traded BDC, WhiteHorse Finance.
  3. H.I.G.’s real estate funds invest in value-added properties, which can benefit from improved asset management practices.
  4. H.I.G. Infrastructure focuses on making value-add and core plus investments in the infrastructure sector.

Since its founding in 1993, H.I.G. has invested in and managed more than 400 companies worldwide. The firm’s current portfolio includes more than 100 companies with combined sales in excess of $53 billion. For more information, please refer to the H.I.G. website at www.hig.com.

About First Reserve

First Reserve is a leading global private equity firm focused on investing across diversified energy, utility, and general industrial end-markets. Founded in 1983, First Reserve has more than 40 years of industry insight, and has cultivated a network of global relationships. First Reserve has raised more than $33 billion of aggregate capital since inception. Its investment and operational experience have been built from over 750 transactions, including platform investments and add-on acquisitions, on six continents. The firm’s portfolio companies have operated globally in over 60 countries and span the entire energy and industrial spectrum. Please visit www.firstreserve.com for further information.

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Mary Bray Gallagher, APR

Communications Manager

T: (518) 453-8264

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SOURCE CHA Consulting, Inc.

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