“Any company I run is going to be sold every three to seven years,” CoolSys Chief Executive Adam Coffey said in our March 4 edition, when we excerpted his just-released book, “The Private Equity Handbook.”
The book (5 stars on Amazon) doesn’t lie. Middle-market private equity firm Audax Group—which invested in CoolSys at the start of 2016—last Thursday said it had sold the Brea-based company that installs and maintains refrigeration and heating systems for companies like Costco and Starbucks.
The buyer was another PE heavyweight: LA-based Ares Management. Terms of the deal were undisclosed. Coffey’s staying on board, got a cut of the sale and expects to grow the 2,000-employee firm into one with sales topping $1 billion.
Keep an eye out for CoolSys in 2022. “Why take one bite of the apple when you can take two, three, four or more,” wrote the Yorba Linda resident, who told our Peter J. Brennan last year that he moved his company to nicer offices at the end of ’17 because a spiffy headquarters could add $50 million or so to a company’s valuation.
If that’s the case, not a bad return for CoolSys’ lease at Hines’ Brea Place complex.
Any other OC execs have a new business book to plug, and big growth plans? Our track record’s pretty good of late.
Along with Coffey, in January we excerpted a selection of Steve Jones’ “No Off Season,” a memoir of how he built Santa Ana’s Allied Universal into the country’s largest private security force. It has 5 stars from Amazon, too.
Six weeks later in February, Allied got a new main shareholder from Canada; the deal gives the company a valuation topping $7 billion.
Jones said the investment gives it the ability to “pursue an aggressive growth strategy.”
A book of a different sort: local hospitality royalty Ed Fuller, a former Marriott exec who created the chain’s global security strategy and current chief executive of OC Visitors Association, has co-written a thriller.
“RED Hotel” profiles “an international hotel executive with high level access to the CIA,” who investigates an international terror plot following a hotel bombing in Tokyo. Bistango Restaurant serves as a location for the book; albeit one in Brussels.
Fuller’s already written a management book, “You Can’t Lead With Your Feet on the Desk.”
Joe Duran has a trio of books to his resume, including New York Times bestseller “The Money Code.”
The founder of Newport Beach’s United Capital Financial Advisers also is a fortune teller. Last June, he predicted to the Business Journal that “we are well overdue” for a 15% to 20% stock market correction. “It will feel awful,” he said at the time.
The S&P 500 peaked three months after that proclamation, and then fell 18% to its December low.
Duran is one of five Excellence in Entrepreneur Award winners profiled in this edition (see story, page 8).