DIF Capital Partners (“DIF”), a leading global independent infrastructure investment fund manager, through its fund DIF Infrastructure VI, today announced an agreement to acquire Bernhard, LLC (“Bernhard”) the largest privately-owned Energy-as-a-Service (“EaaS”) solutions company in the United States, from an affiliate of Bernhard Capital Partners.
Bernhard has provided solutions to its customers’ energy and infrastructure needs for more than 100 years and shifted its focus in 2014 to becoming a leading Energy-as-a-Service provider. As part of this business model, Bernhard enters into long-term turnkey EaaS concession contracts to upgrade, retrofit and service large existing building energy facilities in order to achieve substantial energy savings. Clients are currently predominantly higher education and healthcare institutions. To date, Bernhard has closed 15 EaaS transactions, including the largest EaaS concession in U.S. history. Senior management will retain a meaningful ownership position and continue its groundbreaking work leading Bernhard.
“Bernhard delivers distributed energy through its unique EaaS model which provides clients access to fully integrated and efficient energy solutions, thereby significantly reducing the carbon footprint of their buildings and utility systems. Bernhard’s approach fits perfectly with DIF’s Public-Private Partnership expertise and ambition to invest in clean energy infrastructure solutions around the globe.” said Gijs Voskuyl, Partner and Head of Investments for DIF Infrastructure VI. “We are excited to partner with Bernhard’s outstanding management team and support the company in their rapid growth at the forefront of the energy transition.”
“As Bernhard continues pushing to new heights in the EaaS market, we are excited to join forces with DIF Capital Partners given its extensive experience with Public-Private Partnerships, district energy, Energy-as-a-Service projects, and a shared commitment to efficiency, ESG and sustainability” said Ed Tinsley, Bernhard CEO. “The support and strategic counsel from DIF will help to guide Bernhard through the next chapter of our story.”
With DIF’s acquisition of Bernhard, the company will continue the acceleration of its market leading core EaaS business to healthcare and higher education facilities while expanding those services to other markets and geographies.
“The future of Bernhard has never been brighter,” said Tinsley. “Our track record proves we have the expertise and capabilities to push the industry to places it has never been before. With this announcement, we are truly at the forefront of a new era for energy solutions that will shape the world for generations to come.”
J.P. Morgan Securities LLC served as Bernhard’s financial advisor, and Kirkland & Ellis LLP provided legal counsel. Macquarie Capital (USA) Inc. served as financial advisor, White & Case LLP served as legal advisor, Black & Veatch Management Consulting served as technical advisor, RWDI served as energy advisor, Deloitte LLP (Canada) served as financial, accounting and tax advisor and Oliver Wyman as commercial advisor to DIF.
Bernhard, a portfolio company of Bernhard Capital Partners, is a leading Energy-as-a-Service company delivering turnkey projects and custom solutions in the United States with 100+ years of energy and infrastructure project experience servicing higher education, healthcare, commercial and specialty markets. Bernhard combines development, financing, design, construction and operations to deliver turnkey Energy-as-a-Service solutions that reduce energy use, risk and cost so that our clients can focus on their everyday work. Headquartered in Metairie, Louisiana, Bernhard has more than 2,000 employees in more than 20 office locations across the country. For more information, visit bernhard.com.
About DIF Capital Partners
DIF Capital Partners is a leading global independent fund manager, with more than €9.0 billion in assets under management across nine closed-end infrastructure funds and several co-investment vehicles. DIF has invested in more than 100 Public-Private Partnership projects over the past 16 years in sectors such as healthcare, government, and education, where the provision of energy, management of energy systems and efficiency of outputs are often a key feature of projects. DIF Capital Partners invests in greenfield and operational infrastructure assets located primarily in Europe, the Americas, and Australasia through two complementary strategies:
- Traditional DIF funds, of which DIF Infrastructure Fund VI is the latest vintage, target equity investments with long-term contracted or regulated income streams including public-private partnerships, concessions, utilities, and (renewable) energy projects.
- DIF CIF funds target equity investments in small to mid-sized economic infrastructure assets in the telecom, energy, and transportation sectors.
DIF Capital Partners has a team of over 170 professionals, based in ten offices located in Amsterdam (Schiphol), Frankfurt, London, Luxembourg, Madrid, New York, Paris, Santiago, Sydney, and Toronto. For more information please visit www.dif.eu.
Allard Ruijs, Partner