Industry | Select Recent M&A Activity
M&A: L2 Fire Safety, a provider of code consulting and performance-based design work for complex projects, has been acquired by Jensen Hughes. Jensen Hughes is a portfolio company of Gryphon Investors.
M&A: Mobile Mini, a provider of portable storage and specialty containment solutions, has merged with WillScot Corporation, a leading specialty rental services and portable storage solutions provider.
M&A: Element Integrity Group, a provider of mechanical integrity and non-destructive testing services to the petrochemical industry, has been acquired by Versa Integrity. Versa Integrity is a portfolio company of Dorilton Capital.
M&A: Kestrel Power Engineering, a provider of specialized consulting services to the North American electric power generation market, has been acquired by EN Engineering.
M&A: Affiliated Wastewater, an operator of a centralized wastewater facility that can process both oil and metal-bearing wastewater, has been acquired by Valicor Environmental Services. Valicor is a portfolio company of Pritzker Private Capital.
M&A: Simpson Environmental Services, an environmental remediation and abatement firm operating in the U.S. Southeast, has been acquired by EIS Holdings. EIS is a portfolio company of O2 Investment.
Public Markets | Key Trading Statistics1
What We’re Reading
Utilities | Publicly Traded Water Utilities Draw Investors
“Publicly traded water utilities—usually one of the more stolid corners of the already-conservative utilities sector—have been on a tear for more than a year. Institutions are increasingly on the hunt for investments that meet new environmental, social and governance, or ESG, benchmarks. Meanwhile, individual investors, particularly retirees, are joining in on the rush as they look for safety and dividends. In the 12 months ended Feb. 27, the water-utilities sector increased 23.9%, versus 10.5% for the Dow Jones Utility Average and 4.7% for the S&P 500.
One big aspect of water companies’ appeal is a strong ESG profile. Water firms operate under environmental and governance mandates, and they provide an essential social service—which makes them look attractive in the current climate. Investors searching for stocks that hit those standards don’t ‘have much they can look at in the [utilities] sector,’ says Angie Storozynski, a former managing director at Macquarie Capital in New York.”
Renewables & Distributed Energy | California Ports Turn to Microgrids for Energy Security, Demand Flexibility
“Even under ideal conditions, microgrids are complex projects. In response, California policymakers are working to streamline microgrid development; the California Energy Commission’s EPIC program has already funded 20 demonstration projects with the goal of commercializing microgrids.
Building a microgrid at one of the world’s busiest ports is even more challenging. The Port of Long Beach handles $200 billion of cargo each year. Real estate on the port is valuable, and space to install distributed energy resources such as solar PV panels and batteries is scarce.
The Port of Long Beach must balance its tenants’ needs against California’s carbon-reduction goals as well as its obligation to ease the burden of environmental harm on nearby disadvantaged communities. The balancing act involves getting billion-dollar, multi-decade bets right.”
Engineering & Construction | EMCOR CEO Cites Keys to Labor Success as 2019 Results Are Tallied
“When EMCOR Group CEO Anthony Guzzi and his colleagues present the corporation’s final results for 2019 on Feb. 27, they will likely describe another year of solid profit, smart acquisitions and focus on a disciplined approach to winning new work. About the only thing that could have held EMCOR back in 2019 would have been a shortage of workers, but the company believes it has figured that out, too. Much of it comes down to the contractor’s various operating units’ stability and reliability as an employer, company leaders say.”
Except for a few markets, EMCOR's family of electrical and mechanical contractors are able to choose the craft workers that staff its projects, Guzzi told analysts in the fall. And, he added, the company does everything it can to keep those workers continuously employed, well-managed, satisfied that their good work is recognized and safe.”
Oil & Gas | Future Energy – Carbon Capture and Storage
“Few think the global economy can thrive for the next few decades without coal, oil and gas. The world will be emitting carbon for decades yet; the trick will be to capture and store it. Commercial, scaled-up CCS means we can use fossil fuels while greatly reducing CO2 emissions until energy consumption is fully decarbonized. It’s going to be hugely important for hard-to-decarbonize sectors like cement and steel.
The idea of CCS has been around for decades, but it still hasn’t really got off the ground. We reckon 68 projects have started and terminated, primarily because CCS is very expensive. Costs are difficult to get a handle on because no project is the same, and a lot of technology is proprietary.”
Renewables & Distributed Energy | The Solar Industry’s New Power Player: Oil Majors
“A spate of recent acquisitions has left European oil and gas majors poised to become leaders in the solar market — with offshore wind also a growing focus. The top tier of solar asset owners worldwide could change dramatically over the next 12 months due to the rapid ascent of a number of oil and gas companies, said Tom Heggarty, principal analyst in the energy transition practice at Wood Mackenzie.
Several of these European oil players are also moving decisively into wind, another relatively fragmented market, with around 20 percent of global capacity belonging to the top 10 asset owners. Achieving leadership positions in onshore wind might be a stretch for oil companies in the short term, but Equinor and Shell already have big designs in the offshore market.”
Public Markets Overview
Power Equipment and Services1
Energy Equipment and Services1
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