The private equity firm co-founded by former Bank of America Corp. chief executive Hugh McColl Jr. is selling its stake in a Charlotte-based energy services company, it announced Wednesday.
Falfurrias Capital Partners will sell its ownership interest in UC Synergetic, which provides energy and communications engineering, consulting and technical services, to Mount Airy-based Pike Electric Corp.
McColls firm invested in UC Synergetic in 2007. Since then, the energy company has nearly tripled its base revenue and profitability by focusing on client service and expanding into high-growth communications, transmission and substation engineering markets through a series of acquisitions, Falfurrias said.
That solid performance convinced the former Bank of America CEO it was time to sell, McColl said.
Tripling your money is hard to beat, he said. We think the world of the management, and we felt we found a good home with them in (Pike Electric CEO) Eric Pike. Hell be able to do more with them than we were.
McColl and Pike met during a CEO seminar at Queens University of Charlotte a year or so ago; that led to early conversations about the deal, McColl said.
It made sense for our people and him, he said. ... Hes a smart guy, and I think he will be a good steward of that company.
Pike Electric said in a news release it agreed to buy UC Synergetic and its parent company, Synergetic Design Holdings Inc., in an all-cash transaction valued at about $70 million.
The deal, expected to close in early July, will extend Pikes footprint in the Northeast and Midwest and boost its ability to provide outsourced engineering and other technical services, Pike said. UC Synergetic has offices across the U.S., including hubs in Atlanta, Raleigh and Boston.
Falfurrias, founded by McColl and former Bank of America chief financial officer Marc Oken in 2006, sold its controlling stake last month in Commercial Credit Group, a Charlotte-based provider of equipment financing for the construction, fleet transportation and waste industries. A few months earlier, Falfurrias invested in Richmond investment research and money management product firm Dorsey Wright & Associates.
Going forward, McColl said his company likely will focus on businesses in the energy, clean water and financial services fields.
I think one of the things we all know is, theres a huge amount of money out there looking for good deals, he said. Well be doing the same thing.
While hes optimistic about the economic recovery, long-term, he said business owners and investors are still looking for stability.
The growth rates are not what wed like them to be in this country, he said. People keep waiting for Europe to solve its problems. The truth of the matter is, we have to solve our own problems.