Riverside’s private equity

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Riverside Boosts Results By Many Degrees, Exits Post-Secondary Education Provider January 05, 2010

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Deal Type:
Sale of ATI to BC Partners
Key Stats:
50th Exit in Riverside’s History

Fund Family:
ATI is a Riverside Capital Appreciation Fund 2003 (“RCAF ’03”) investment.

ATI Enterprises
Based in Dallas, Texas

  • Under Riverside ownership, has expanded campuses from eight to 23, added an online division, and grown number of students served from 2,300 to 15,500.
  • Provides post-secondary professional training at campuses in Arizona, Florida, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas and online.
  • Offering more than 20 programs in four career fields, ranging from basic vocational trades to advanced technical training.
  • Courses of study include: HVAC and refrigeration, automotive, medical/dental/ultrasound/ respiratory tech, massage, personal fitness trainer, electronics, business administration, and information technology.

Of Note:
During a hold period of nearly six years, Riverside helped ATI sustain annual growth of over 30% for both revenues and EBITDA. During the same time period, overall revenues and EBITDA grew by over 300% and 450%, respectively.

The ATI investment highlights Riverside’s concentration on the training and education sector within the firm’s overall generalist approach to acquisitions. By selectively focusing on a variety of industries, the firm has been able to enhance returns through strengthening its knowledge and relationships and ability to build companies in its specialist industry sectors. ATI is one of 18 training and education companies in which Riverside has invested. This short video explains how the training and education specialization works for Riverside and its partners. The ATI exit is the 50th in the history of Riverside.

Ownership Highlights:
ATI was already growing nicely when Riverside acquired it with Primus Capital in 2004, but that growth accelerated significantly under Riverside’s ownership. Riverside’s financial backing gave ATI the leverage it needed to be an acquirer in a competitive, merger-oriented industry. Riverside expanded into southern Texas with the acquisition of South Texas Vocational Technical Institute in 2007, deepening ATI’s share of the fast-growing Texas market. Riverside also led a project to upgrade ATI’s management team, attracting luminaries from the education industry who bolstered ATI’s processes, improved leads and lead conversions, and continued to aggressively expand ATI’s campus network.

Suzanne Kriscunas, Riverside Managing Partner
“ATI is an ideal illustration of the growth in our training and education specialization. When we first invested in the company in 2004, we were just beginning to specifically focus on the niche. Just as ATI grew exponentially, our abilities in training and education have as well. We look forward to applying our talent and experience to future investments in this sector.”

Karen Pajarillo, Riverside Partner
“We’re delighted to be leaving ATI much larger, more effective and more profitable than when we first invested in it. Thanks to ATI’s outstanding management, exceptional value, and our concerted efforts to make it a leader in all its markets, ATI is ready for even more growth with its new owners.”

Arthur Benjamin, ATI President and CEO
“It’s been wonderful to work with Riverside while making ATI into the premier company it is today. Riverside clearly believes in finding great people, then giving them resources and freedom to perform at their best. With Riverside, we’ve grown dramatically, and we are now poised for an even brighter future.”

Riverside Team:
Suzanne Kriscunas, Managing Partner; Karen Pajarillo, Partner; Peter Tsang, Vice President; and Martin Graul, Senior Associate.

Attorneys: Jones Day and Powers Pyles Sutter & Verville (regulatory)
Accounting/Tax: Deloitte & Touche and Almich & Co.

The Riverside Company (www.riversidecompany.com or www.riversideeurope.com)
The Riverside Company is a global private equity firm focused on acquiring leading small and medium-sized enterprises (with a value of up to $150 million) and partnering with strong management teams to enhance the success of its companies through acquisitions and organic growth. Since its founding in 1988, the firm has invested in 222 transactions with a total enterprise value of $5.0 billion. The investment portfolio in North America, Europe and Asia includes 70 companies with annual sales totaling $3.3 billion, EBITDA of $506 million and more than 13,000 employees (June 2009). Riverside offers the resources to complete acquisitions smoothly - thanks to its more than $3.0 billion in assets under management, more than 180 professionals in 18 offices (Atlanta, Brussels, Budapest, Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, Hong Kong, Los Angeles, Luxembourg, Madrid, Munich, New York, Prague, San Francisco, Seoul, Stockholm, Tokyo and Warsaw) and its longstanding relationships with partner lenders. According to Thomson Venture Economics, eight of Riverside’s nine mature funds rank in the top 25% of all funds (as of June 30, 2009). The firm’s investors include the world’s leading pension funds, endowments, funds of funds, insurance companies and banks.

ATI Enterprises
ATI was founded in 1965 as American Trades Institute in Dallas, Texas. ATI provides diploma and degree programs geared to meet today’s skilled labor needs in a variety of fields. For more information, visit www.aticareertraining.edu.

Media Contact

Holly Mueller
Communications Consultant
The Riverside Company
+1 216 535 2236