Crisis Prevention Institute to be sold to different private equity firm

Milwaukee company provides de-escalation training

Deal handshake

Milwaukee-based Crisis Prevention Institute Inc. has agreed to be acquired by San Francisco-based private equity firm FFL Partners, along with CPI management.

CPI is currently owned by Boca Raton, Florida-based private equity firm Brockway Moran & Partners Inc., which acquired the company in 2011. Terms of the transaction, which is expected to close by year-end, were not disclosed. Milwaukee-based Robert W. Baird & Co. Inc. advised CPI in the transaction.

Crisis Prevention Institute, which has about 250 employees, offers training in de-escalation of aggressive behaviors and nonviolent physical intervention out of its Milwaukee headquarters. The company also provides training and consultation for therapeutic dementia care. Its strategies are put to use in health care, education and corporate environments. More than 10 million human service professionals from around the world have been trained at CPI in safely resolving situations in which those in their care display anxious, hostile or violent behavior.

Brockway Moran has applied several growth strategies at CPI since it took ownership, including expanding its e-learning offerings, adapting the curriculum and product suite, deploying additional sales and marketing resources and tailoring the management team.

The private equity firm achieved an 8x cash-on-cash return on its investment, said Larry Shagrin, partner at Brockway Moran.

“It was a very extraordinary investment for our firm and everyone investing from a return standpoint,” Shagrin said. “The company grew materially over our five-year ownership with the company and we added people every year in all different areas.”

Shagrin declined to disclose any hiring or revenue growth figures.

“The company’s got a lot of opportunities going forward from a growth standpoint,” he said. “I would expect just continued growth, continued investment in the business and in the people,” Shagrin said. “I don’t expect anything to change. If anything, the growth could be accelerated.”

“We are very pleased to have partnered with Brockway Moran & Partners during this important time in CPI’s history,” said Anthony Jace, chief executive officer of CPI. “Together, we have significantly accelerated the growth profile of the business through investments in sales and marketing and expansion of our product offering with new curriculum, content, and delivery capabilities.”

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Molly Dill, former BizTimes Milwaukee managing editor.

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