LAS VEGAS - VenVest Inc., a venture capital company and national franchise originator headquartered in Sarasota, Fla., announced that it had acquired the Las Vegas HVAC company, Quality One Hour Air Conditioning Inc., formerly Quality Air Conditioning Service Inc., of Las Vegas. Terms of the acquisition have not been publicly disclosed.

One Hour Air Conditioning is a nationally branded franchise that provides HVAC contractors with management consulting services, increased purchasing power, and the benefits of a nationally recognized brand name.

Quality Air Conditioning Service Inc. began operations in 1980 after a split from Quality Mechanical, which has been doing business since 1969. Quality has been a One Hour Air Conditioning franchise and model center since August 2003. The company will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of VenVest with Darren Dixon, Quality's former general manager, serving as president.

Former Quality owner Jeff Stewart discussed the sale. "This is the first acquisition/merger of a franchise by VenVest in the U.S.," said Stewart. "The other franchises are independently owned. We are a company-owned store."

Stewart stated that the growth of Quality put the company into "uncharted waters," where there were no operational manuals for a service company with revenues in excess of $10 million.

"New construction guys can hit big numbers all day long, but when we are running service and replacement calls, which will soon add more than $15 million annually, VenVest will certainly help," he said.

"The One Hour name is al-ready beginning to dominate the market," he said. "We have over 40 trucks on the road and will have a big yellow flying van [helium balloon] which will be visible from the expressway. There are a lot of commercials running on the radio, too."

The One Hour franchise group started in July 2003, and it reports it has already sold 87 franchises.

"This is an exciting time for our employees, and we are moving along in our growth pattern," Stewart said. "Having VenVest involved has helped us achieve a lot of our goals."

Publication date: 06/14/2004