Wind Point Partners Acquires Zone Mechanical

April 2021

Wind Point to establish Zone Climate Services following acquisition of Zone Mechanical, a leading provider of refrigeration HVAC services in the Midwest

Chicago, IL, April 8, 2021 – Wind Point Partners (“Wind Point”), a Chicago-based private equity firm, is pleased to announce its acquisition of Zone Mechanical, a leading provider of refrigeration and HVAC mechanical services to the grocery, convenience store and warehouse industries. Zone Mechanical represents Wind Point’s first investment in the refrigeration HVAC services sector as part of a new platform to be named Zone Climate Services (“Zone Climate”), which will be focused on acquiring and growing providers of mission-critical commercial refrigeration and HVAC installation, maintenance and repair services.

Based in Chicago, Zone Mechanical was co-founded by Frank Petrosino and Dan Palubiak in 2002 and has since grown to become one of the largest providers of refrigeration and HVAC mechanical services in Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana and Michigan. Since its founding, Zone Mechanical has developed a strong reputation for service quality and engineering expertise in the refrigeration systems market. Mr. Petrosino, Mr. Palubiak and other members of management are investing meaningful capital alongside Wind Point and will remain actively involved in Zone Mechanical’s day-to-day operations.

Partnering with Wind Point and Zone Mechanical’s co-founders is business services industry veteran Henry Lees-Buckley, who will join Zone Climate as CEO. Mr. Lees-Buckley brings a wealth of experience across route-based, trade-focused and services-oriented businesses. Mr. Lees-Buckley’s prior experience includes serving as President and CEO at Uni-Select (TSX: UNS), where he oversaw an extensive fleet of delivery vehicles, completed more than 40 acquisitions and grew key business segments. Prior to Uni-Select, Mr. Lees-Buckley spent more than 12 years at W.W. Grainger (NYSE: GWW) where he led the Specialty Brand Companies, a division he helped more than double in size through a mix of organic and M&A initiatives. Mr. Lees-Buckley also led Grainger’s $1 billion Canadian division, which increased profitability fivefold under his tenure.

Mr. Lees-Buckley commented, “Frank, Dan, and the management team at Zone Mechanical have built an exceptional company, and I am eager to partner with this incredible team. We will continue Zone’s tradition of hiring the nation’s top technicians and providing our customers with the industry’s best quality of service. In addition, I look forward to helping Zone execute against many exciting growth initiatives, including investments in technology, greenfield expansions, and the acquisition of other industry leading refrigerated HVAC organizations.”

Konrad Salaber, Managing Director at Wind Point, noted, “Wind Point has a strong tradition of supporting closely held businesses as they enter their next phase of growth, and we look forward to partnering with Henry, Frank and the entire team as Zone enters an exciting new phase of growth. Our value creation plan revolves around aggressively expanding the business through a robust investment program focused on both organic initiatives and M&A, with the goal of building a market-leading RHVAC platform.”

Zone Mechanical represents Wind Point’s fifth platform acquisition of a family or entrepreneur-led business in the last 18 months, continuing the firm’s decades-long history of partnering with founders and entrepreneurs to drive further growth and transformation. Wind Point has also been a longtime investor in route-based and services-based businesses, with select current and prior investments including A&R Logistics, Valicor Environmental Services, CTSI, AIR-Serv and STG Logistics.

“Wind Point’s track record, strong executive network, and growth-focused orientation made them a perfect fit with our vision for Zone,” said Mr. Petrosino, co-founder of Zone Mechanical. “We are thrilled to partner with Wind Point and Henry to accelerate Zone’s growth, provide our talented employees with new opportunities, expand the company organically and through acquisitions, and continue building on our rich legacy of providing customers with first-class service.”

Joining Wind Point and Henry Lees-Buckley on the Board of Directors are executives Steve Hochhauser, John Conover, James Mylett and David Keltner. Mr. Hochhauser, a Wind Point Executive Advisor Partner, will serve as Board Chair. Mr. Hochhauser is also Board Chair for Wind Point portfolio companies A&R Logistics and Ascensus Specialties, and serves as director at Terminix Global Holdings. Mr. Hochhauser previously served as CEO of Johns Manville and held senior executive roles at Ingersoll Rand and Allied Signal. Mr. Conover is the former President of Trane North America, one of the largest manufacturers and service providers in the refrigerated HVAC industry. Mr. Mylett is currently the SVP of Digital Buildings at Schneider Electric, with select prior roles including SVP of the Services division of Comfort Systems and GM of the North American Services division of Johnson Controls, where he oversaw the largest service technician organization in North America. Mr. Keltner was previously CFO of Ferguson Enterprises, an $18 billion distributor of HVAC equipment, industrial products and related services.

Financing for the transaction was provided by NXT Capital. Kirkland and Ellis served as legal counsel to Wind Point and KPMG provided transaction advisory services on the transaction.

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“Wind Point has a strong tradition of supporting closely held businesses as they enter their next phase of growth, and we look forward to partnering with Henry, Frank and the entire team as Zone enters an exciting new phase of growth."
Konrad Salaber, Managing Director