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Sunday, May 28, 2023

Ares Management to Provide Financial Muscle for CoolSys Growth Strategy

Century City-based Ares Management Corp., which has $131 billion in assets under management, said one of its private equity group funds has purchased Brea, Calif.-based CoolSys Inc., a refrigeration and HVAC company, as part of an aggressive “buy and build” strategy to nearly triple the size of the company.

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Ares Management bought CoolSys from Boston-based Audax Group, which manages more than $12 billion of assets through its private equity business.

“I will have access to significantly more capital to pursue a larger and more transformative strategy,” said CoolSys President and Chief Executive Officer Adam Coffey.

CoolSys designs, builds and services refrigeration and heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, or HVAC, for big box retail and grocery chains, including Target, Walmart, Whole Foods, Costco and Starbucks.

Over the next three years, said Coffey, the privately held company plans to nearly triple in size from last year’s $400 million-a-year-in-revenue generated. CoolSys bought four businesses in 2018, and plans an aggressive clip going forward.

“We are always looking at deals,” said Coffey. “We have a very acquisitive pipeline here.”

Coffey said that Ares Management brings to the table “size” and financial backing to help CoolSys grow 30 percent per year as it marches toward an estimated annual revenue mark of $1.1 billion by 2023.

CoolSys was founded in 2001 and has 2,000 employees in 39 states.

Coffey previously headed WASH, an El Segundo-based, route-based laundry services company that was purchased in 2015 by EQT, a European private equity firm.

WASH provided essential common room laundry services to multifamily apartments and universities under long-term contracts. At the time of the sale, the company utilized sophisticated routing technology to manage a fleet of 600 satellite enabled vehicles.

Finance reporter Pat Maio can be reached at pmaio@labusinessjournal.com or (323) 556-8329.

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