Follow the Money: Tailwater Capital Commits $150M, Morningstar Raises $16M, Elbit Makes Acquisition

In this weekly roundup of investment, merger, and acquisition activity involving North Texas businesses, you’ll also find news from Body Machine Fitness, Align Capital Partners, RKD Group, BenefitMall, All Commercial Floors, Holland Marble Group, Crossplane Capital, and Elite FPS.

What companies are finding funding or having a big exit? From startup investments to grants and acquisitions, Dallas Innovates tracks what’s happening in North Texas money every Thursday. Sign up for our e-newsletter to stay in the loop.

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Tailwater Capital makes a $150M equity commitment to downstream firm

Dallas-based Tailwater Capital LLC has made a $150 million equity commitment to Triten Energy Partners, a new Houston-based company that is pursuing downstream infrastructure projects.

Tailwater is an energy-focused private equity firm. Triten said it will acquire and develop downstream facilities related to production for the refined products and petrochemical sectors.

In the oil and gas industry, there are three major sectors: upstream, midstream, and downstream. Downstream is the refining of petroleum crude oil and the processing and purifying of raw natural gas. It also includes the marketing and distribution of products derived from natural gas and crude oil.

MorningStar Partners raises $16M for a $25M fund

Fort Worth-based MorningStar Partners, an independent oil and gas company, has raised $16 million for a $25 million fund from 21 investors, the Dallas Business Journal reported.

The privately-held company focuses on the acquisition, development and exploration of oil, natural gas and natural gas liquid reserves in North America. It was founded in 2012.

Body Machine Fitness raises $100K of a $12.5M equity offering

Plano-based fitness company Body Machine Fitness has raised $100,000 of a $12.5 million equity offering, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

The company was founded in 2015 by CEO Jeremy Soder.

According to its website, Body Machine Fitness “delivers an immersive and exhilarating experience unlike any other studio in the world, leveraging a high fidelity light and sound show, the best trainers in the biz, and a community that keeps the energy level cranked up all the way.” 

MERGERS & ACQUISITIONS

Elbit Systems acquires Harris’ night vision business

Fort Worth-based Elbit Systems of America has closed its $350 million acquisition of the former Harris Corp.’s night division technology business. Elbit Systems of America is the U.S. arm of Israeli defense company Elbit Systems Ltd.

According to Washington Technology, the deal was agreed to in April after a sale by Florida-based Harris was required by antitrust regulators as a precondition for Harris’ closing on a merger with L3 Technologies. The business will be known as L3Harris Technologies and it will be headquartered in Roanoke, Virginia. It has almost 500 employees.

“The market position and technological strength of Harris Night Vision make this acquisition significant to our long-term growth strategy, with a particular focus on the US,” Elbit Systems president and CEO Bezhalel Machlis said. “We believe that the completion of this acquisition will be beneficial both for Elbit Systems and for Harris Night Vision’s customers and employees.”

The company has appointed Erik Fox as the vice-president and general manager of Elbit Systems of America Night Vision. Elbit said the Night Vision business unit will supply solutions for ground platforms, infantry soldiers, pilots, and marines.

Align Capital recapitalizes Fort Worth-based elevator servicer

Align Capital Partners announced it has completed its majority recapitalization of vertical transportation systems (VTS) company Southwest Elevator Co., a Fort Worth-based provider of preventive maintenance, repair, and modernization services for elevators and escalators.

No financial terms were released on the acquisition.

Align Capital is headquartered in Dallas and Cleveland. Southwest services properties throughout Dallas-Fort Worth.

“We hope to do add-on acquisitions,” in the VTS field, Rob Langley, a managing partner at Align Capital Partners told Dallas Innovates by phone. Southwest, he said, is Align’s eighth acquisition. 

Align Capital said that third-generation VTS operator Tom Cavinder will remain with Southwest as CEO and lead its national buy-and-build growth strategy.

RKD Group builds presence in Canada via acquisition

RKD Group, a Dallas-based provider of marketing and fundraising solutions for nonprofits, has acquired Direct Point Group (DPG), a Canadian direct-response fundraising agency. 

The acquisition will establish RKD Group’s presence in Canada through DPG’s Toronto office.

“DPG has a stellar reputation for providing breakthrough direct response fundraising and marketing services to a wide range of Canadian and US-based non-profits,” RKD Group CEO Tim Kersten said in a statement. “DPG’s capabilities in direct response television production, mid-level donor strategy, gift-giving catalogues, in addition to core direct response capabilities, will further deepen the solutions that RKD Group offers our clients.” 

As part of the deal, DPG will be rebranded as RKD Direct Point, a division of RKD Group. 

BenefitMall makes an entry into Pennsylvania market with acquisition

Dallas-based BenefitMall, a provider of employee benefits and payroll services, has acquired the General Agency (GA) entity under Brown & Brown of Pennsylvania.

The move marks BenefitMall’s first entry into Pennsylvania’s growing benefits market. The company said it will introduce technology innovations to the market that includes its Agency Workspace platform, Client Ready Quote System (CRQS), and Online Enrollment capabilities.

“We have had our eye on the Pennsylvania market for some time now, and we are thrilled to see this deal come through,” said Bob Love, President of the Benefits Division for BenefitMall. “We are confident that the introduction of our technology platforms and proven service capabilities into the Pennsylvania market will be a growth driver for us, as well as for our broker and carrier partners.” 

Brown & Brown, a full-service business insurance and employee benefits agency, has more than 30 years of experience.

Grand Prairie’s ACF acquires Holland Marble Group

All Commercial Floors Inc., a Grand Prairie-based national provider of healthcare and commercial floor covering solutions, has acquired Holland Marble Group, a Carrollton-based importer, fabricator and provider of an extensive range of natural stone and quartz products.

No financial terms of the deal were released.

Holland’s products include marble, granite, limestone, slate, soapstone and travertine, as well as carved and other custom fabricated stone and quartz products. The company said that Peter Holland has been named vice president and general manager of the newly named “Holland Surfaces” division of ACF.

Crossplane Capital gets controlling stake in Accent

Crossplane Capital, a Dallas-based private equity firm, has acquired a controlling interest in the Accent Family of Cos.

No financial details of the transaction were released.

Accent is a Tomball, Texas-baed distributor of baling wire, wire ties, and wire tier machines to the waste and recycling industries.

Denver company acquires Elite FPS

Elite FPS LLC, a full-service fire sprinkler contractor based in Dallas, has been acquired by National Fire & Safety, a Denver-based end-to-end fire protection and life safety solutions platform. No financial information of the deal were released.

National Fire & Safety is a portfolio company of Highland Capital.

National Fire & Safety was recently created by Highland as a platform for leading fire and safety brand in the western United States. Ken Tabor will continue as president of Elite.

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