D.C. utility forms company to buy contractors, offer services

July 1, 2000
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WASHINGTON — Hvac contractors in the D.C. area may find that a new suitor is interested in buying their companies.

Washington Gas Light Co. and Thayer Capital Partners announced the formation of Primary Investors, LLC, a holding company that will focus on investment opportunities in aftermarket products and services for the hvac industry.

Primary Investors will make its investments through Primary Service Group, LLC, its wholly owned subsidiary, which will acquire and operate companies to provide aftermarket hvac products and services to the residential and light commercial markets.

Products and services may include equipment, repairs, replacement, and inspection programs and service agreements.

Primary Service Group says it will focus initially on building a regional presence in the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia metropolitan area.

Primary Investors’ board of directors has named Louis Pearsall president of Primary Service Group, whose credentials include 20 years with Carrier Corp. and experience in product management, strategic marketing, operations, purchasing, acquisitions, and business integrations.

$50 million commitment

Washington Gas and Thayer Capital Partners each own 50% of Primary Investors. Each firm’s initial equity commitment to the venture is $25 million.

Earnings from investments made by Primary Investors are expected to be positive in the first year of operation.

James H. DeGraffenreidt Jr., Washington Gas chairman and ceo, commented, “Washington Gas is focused on enhancing shareholder value through solid investment opportunities in retail, energy-related businesses that provide superior service and build customer loyalty.”

“This is an excellent investment that meets all of our criteria for success,” said Fred V. Malek, Thayer Capital Partners’ chairman and ceo. “We see here a large and robust market, an outstanding co-investor in

Washington Gas, and a superb ceo. This is a tremendous opportunity for both companies.” Washington Gas is primarily engaged in the sale and delivery of natural gas and other energy-related products and services. The company serves nearly 850,000 residential, commercial, and industrial customers throughout metropolitan Washington and the surrounding region.

Thayer Capital Partners, Washington, is a private equity investment firm that manages more than $1.2 billion in capital. The company manages private equity funds focused on generating equity returns through acquisitions of, or ventures with, companies in a variety of targeted industries.

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