Essig Plumbing acquired by private equity-backed outfit | Berks Regional News

ONTELAUNEE TWP., Pa. – Berks County-based Essig Plumbing & Heating is now part of a services group backed by private equity funds. That means two big-city investors are seeing opportunities in the 84-year-old company, which is headquartered near Leesport.

The terms of the transaction with P1 Service Group were not disclosed in a joint statement. P1 said on its website, under a tab labeled “Acquisitions,” that it is looking for companies with annual sales of $10 million to $100 million. The vinegar deal extends P1’s reach from the Midwestern United States to the mid-Atlantic.

The agreement with Essig means the third-generation family business will continue to serve Berks and Lehigh counties, the statement said. Essig’s office is at 448 Snyder Rd. in the township of Ontelaunee.

P1 is backed by two investment groups: River Sea Network of New York City and The Edgewater Funds of Chicago.

River Sea’s investments include the residential heating and air conditioning industry. It provides capital and advice.

Edgewater has committed more than $3 billion in capital since 2001. It works with management to help companies expand, using its money and experience.

“Edgewater’s investment approach is focused on financing high quality mid-market companies where we can add significant value through our capital, experience and broad network,” the fund’s website states.

Steve Vinegar

Steve Essig, president of the plumbing and heating company, said he was looking for an organization that would help his business grow and support his team.

“I didn’t want to be taken on, I was looking for a real partner and I found him in P1 Service Group,” Essig said in the joint statement.

Private equity is a source of investment capital provided by wealthy individuals and corporations who acquire shares or controlling interests in companies. In some cases, private equity funds buy public companies, take them private, and restructure them for later sale.

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