Monday, February 10, 2020

Lad Dawson Retakes the Reins at Guerdon Modular

Innovatus Capital Partners Joins Forces with the Founders
to Acquire the Assets of Guerdon Enterprises

An investor group led by Mr. Lad Dawson, Mr. Mike Bowers and Innovatus Capital Partners, LLC (“Innovatus”) announced today that it has formed Guerdon, LLC (“Guerdon”), a Delaware company, and Guerdon has acquired substantially all the assets of Guerdon Enterprises, LLC (“GELLC”). Innovatus will provide working capital, alongside equity capital with the founders.

Lad Dawson

Dawson and Bowers, the original founders of GELLC, established the company as the dominant and proven brand in the modular industry and sold it in 2014. Mr. Dawson remained as CEO from the inception of the company in 2001 until he retired in 2016. During that time GELLC completed over 200 individual projects, and established itself as the leading manufacturer of off-site, multi-story modular buildings used primarily for hotels, multifamily housing, workforce and student housing throughout the Western United States and Canada. GELLC was an approved supplier for the Marriott, Hilton and Hyatt hotels. From the beginning of 2015 through the end of 2019, GELLC completed over 70% of the hotels constructed with modular technology for leading hotel brands in the US market.

"John Beddow, a commercial modular industry veteran who led GELLC for the past 18 months, will be the CEO of Guerdon," said Bowers. “Our goal has been to assemble the right ownership group with industry specific expertise, a breadth of strategic contacts and relationships and committed capital to create a financial platform that allows Guerdon to grow at an accelerated pace.”

“For years, industry analysts and consulting firms such as Mckinsey, have been asserting that developers that utilize modular building techniques could realize 20-50% time savings and up to 20% hard cost savings vs traditional, on-site construction. We’ve been studying this sector for several years and GELLC was the only volumetric modular manufacturer with the proven ability to deliver this magnitude of benefit to its customers,” said Joseph Schottland, Partner at Innovatus Capital Partners.

“We have reached the tipping point in the West Coast markets whereby rising costs and declining availability of labor have dramatically expanded the demand for factory construction solutions,” said Dawson. “Guerdon’s Modular Technology offers developers and customers a solution for the cost, schedule, quality, and labor availability challenges they face.”

“Our new ownership team brings the financial resources and strength to allow Guerdon to focus on multi-family, student housing, and affordable housing projects and to build on the legacy, leadership and experience of its team in those markets, in addition to focusing on the hospitality markets,” said Beddow.

“We are very excited about Guerdon’s prospects for growth as the leading volumetric modular manufacturer, especially to do this in partnership with the industry veterans who pioneered the concept and have proven over the years to be able to deliver the results almost all others can only promise,” said Ravi Bhagavatula, Partner and Head of Middle Market Opportunistic Capital Fund Strategy at Innovatus Capital Partners.

About Guerdon Guerdon is the leading manufacturer of large-scale, commercial modular construction projects in the Western US and Canada. Guerdon’s modern, innovative modular technology combines on-site construction with precise off-site factory assembly line production. Traditional schedules are shortened substantially because modular units are constructed in our factory-controlled environment while site work and foundation construction are completed concurrently. Guerdon helps developers, architects and general contractors gain greater control over project quality, schedule, and the bottom line. Guerdon’s factory and corporate office are in Boise, Idaho serving 12 western states including California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, South Dakota, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Arizona and Wyoming as well as Canada.

About Innovatus Innovatus Capital Partners, LLC is a New York based registered investment adviser and portfolio management firm with approximately $1.7B in assets under management. Innovatus adheres to an investment strategy that identifies disruptive and growth opportunities across multiple asset categories with a unifying theme of capital preservation, income generation, and upside optionality. Innovatus’ middle market strategy seeks to invest in companies with a strong market position, tangible and identifiable value, and excellent growth potential. The middle market investment team works closely with business owners, management teams, and lenders to develop creative financial and operational solutions in both control and non-control situations. The team targets lower middle market and middle market companies with revenues of $25 - $250 million with typical deal sizes from $10 - $50 million.

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