Safway Group to merge with Georgia energy and industrial firm

Waukesha company sold to different private equity firm

Last updated on July 2nd, 2019 at 10:58 am

Waukesha-based Safway Group Holding LLC will merge with Kennesaw, Georgia-based Brand Energy & Infrastructure Services Inc. in a transaction announced today.


New York private equity firm Odyssey Investment Partners LLC, which owns Safway, has agreed to merge the company with Brand Energy, a portfolio company of New York private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice LLC. The combined firm will have about $5 billion in annual revenue.

Safway was founded in 1936 in Milwaukee. Safway Group was formed in 2009 when Waukesha-based construction scaffolding renter and erector ThyssenKrupp Safway Inc. was acquired by Odyssey from German company ThyssenKrupp AG. Safway has about 10,000 employees at more than 115 locations in the U.S. and Canada, with 100 of those employees working out of the corporate office in Waukesha. Safway provides scaffolding, motorized aerial access solutions, and insulation and coating services for the commercial, industrial and infrastructure sectors. Odyssey is now selling its interest in Safway, and CD&R will be the controlling shareholder of the new company. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Brand Energy has more than 210 branches worldwide and offers services such as work access, corrosion management, atmospheric immersion coatings, insulation services, fireproofing and refractory, mechanical services, forming and shoring to the energy, industrial and infrastructure sectors. It was acquired by CB&R in 2013.

The companies said their businesses are highly complementary, with broad service distribution, innovation, operational excellence, experienced and skilled employees, and a commitment to customer service. Combined, they would have about 37,000 employees.

The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter. Safway and Brand Energy will operate independently until the deal is completed, and an integration team has been formed to combine the firms.

“We believe our customers will derive significant value through expanded services and expertise, increased geographic coverage and greater scale that will enhance our flexibility and responsiveness,” said Bill Hayes, president and chief executive officer of Safway Group. “Our diversified business mix and enhanced growth platform will also create attractive and rewarding growth opportunities for the employees of both companies.”

“This is a transformational milestone for two highly complementary businesses and has a compelling strategic rationale,” said Paul Wood, Brand chairman and CEO. “As a single enterprise, our customers will benefit from a broader range of solutions and greater depth, as well as expertise to provide exceptional service to industrial, commercial and infrastructure customers.”

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Molly Dill
Molly Dill, former BizTimes Milwaukee managing editor.

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