Summit Companies

August 21, 2006
Contact: Lauren B. Sinai

Prospect Partners And Management Acquire Leading Midwestern Fire Protection Services Company
Summit Fire Protection Co. to Expand Midwest Presence; Prospect Partners Teams With Independent Equity Investors to Pursue Transaction

CHICAGO, ILL.—August 21, 2006: Leading lower-middle-market private equity firm Prospect Partners, LLC has announced the management-led acquisition of Summit Fire Protection Co. of Lino Lakes, Minnesota. Summit is one of the Upper Midwest's largest providers of fire sprinkler systems and related services for commercial properties and multi-unit residences. In the transaction, a recapitalization of the business, Prospect Partners also teamed with two independent equity investors, operating veterans Jeff Evrard and Lon Binder, who will Join Summit's management.

Summit was founded in 1999 by Quintin Rubald III, a seasoned industry executive who foresaw a market need in the Upper Midwestern states for fire protection systems. Through select acquisitions and branch office openings, Summit has grown into a diversified designer, manufacturer, installer and service provider of fire suppression and plumbing systems and related services, with locations in six cities across Minnesota and Iowa. Summit's customers include contractors, multi-unit residential office buildings, retail properties, universities, building owners as well as professional services firms.

"Summit is an exciting company that has always experienced consistent and solid growth -- becoming one of the biggest Upper Midwestern players in this market segment in just seven years," says Louis W. Kenter, a Principal at Prospect Partners. "Jeff and Lon have closely followed Summit's progress and we are excited to back them, Quintin and the rest of the Summit management team."

Says Mr. Rubald, "We are a fast-growing company and sought a well-funded, insightful and experienced partner that could also provide managerial firepower to further build on our success. Prospect Partners, Jeff and Lon fit that bill."

Prior to joining Summit, Mr. Evrard and Mr. Binder served as Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer, respectively, of DeLite Outdoor Advertising, Inc., growing the company into Minnesota's largest outdoor billboard advertiser before it was purchased by Lamar Advertising Co. of Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Going forward, Mr. Evrard will be Summit's Chief Executive Officer; Mr. Binder will serve as Chief Financial Officer. Mr. Rubald has been named President and Founder, and Paul Rascher, who joined Summit in 2003 as General Manager, will expand his responsibilities as Chief Operating Officer. Management is a significant shareholder in the new company.

"I am truly excited about this new and challenging opportunity and am equally as excited about continuing Summit's tremendous growth into the future," says Mr. Evrard.

In pursuing their goals for expansion, Prospect Partners and Summit will actively pursue add-on acquisitions of niche businesses that introduce Summit to secondary markets in neighboring states, offer a complementary line of business or deepen Summit's penetration in an existing market.

Summit's Board of Directors will include Mr. Kenter.

Prospect Partners Remains Focused on Relationships With Independent Equity Sponsors

Prospect Partners continues to focus on building relationships with independent equity investors -- operating executives or investment professionals who sponsor transactions for which they seek financing on a deal-by-deal basis. The Summit acquisition is the latest example of Prospect Partners' priority in this regard, and represents the firm's ninth transaction over the last two years with independent sponsors of deals that became portfolio investments.

"We are very receptive to investors who show us growth-ready small niche leaders that could use our financial and strategic resources to get to the next level," says Mr. Kenter.

In the case of Summit, Mr. Kenter had worked with Mr. Evrard and Mr. Binder on Naegele Outdoor Advertising Co., a platform company of private equity firm Marquette Venture Partners, where he worked earlier in his career. "I was already familiar with Jeff's and Lon's talent as operators," Mr. Kenter says. "But just as often, we back investors, particularly those with operating expertise, with whom we have never worked but whose philosophy and abilities we find compatible and compelling."

Summit is the 10th platform company of Prospect Partners II, LP, the $165 million private equity fund that closed in June, 2004. The Fund's other platforms include Education Futures Group, LLC; Presidential Pools and Spas, LLC; Codel Holding Company; Kronos Foods, Inc.; Pipp Mobile Storage Systems Holding Company; Rental Holdings, LLC; Spirit Foodservice Promotional Products, Inc.; Superior Tool Holding Company; and Velvac Holdings, Inc.

About Prospect Partners

Prospect Partners, LLC is a leading lower-middle-market private equity firm, managing two funds totaling $270 million. Since its inception in 1998, Prospect Partners has focused on management-led leveraged acquisitions of unique niche market leaders with revenues typically between $10 and $30 million; the firm has invested in approximately 55 companies within many niche consumer, commercial, specialty distribution and select service markets throughout the United States.

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September 5, 2017
Prospect Partners Sells Summit Companies