Private Equity Firm Partners with Leading Local Gas Distribution Platform
HOUSTON, TX, October 1, 2018 – Ara Partners Group (“Ara Partners”), an alternative asset manager focused on the industrial, chemicals & materials and energy sectors, today announced a majority investment in Centric Gas Services, LLC (“Centric”), a local gas distribution platform headquartered in Magnolia, Texas. Centric operates four local gas distribution companies and three gas transmission pipeline companies in high-growth areas in Texas. The Barnwell Family founded Centric’s underlying entities in 1993 and will continue to own a substantial minority position alongside Ara Partners.
“Our strategic partnership with Ara Partners is an important milestone for Centric,” said Robert S. Barnwell IV, President and Chief Operating Officer of Centric. “This investment enables Centric to continue building a state-of-the-art infrastructure platform for its expanding Texas customer base while ensuring the continuity of our employees, management team, regulatory processes, and adherence to what we believe to be the highest safety standards in our industry.”
Robert “Barney” Barnwell III, Chairman of Centric, added “We are excited to align our family businesses with Ara Partners, a forward-thinking investor with substantial experience managing successful private equity investments. Centric will benefit from enhanced access to capital while continuing to provide the same safe, reliable and cost-effective natural gas service to our customers that we have for decades.”
Troy Thacker, Managing Partner at Ara Partners, commented, “We are thrilled to realize this investment in Centric in partnership with the Barnwell family, who have built an enviable business over the past 25 years. Centric’s business fits perfectly within Ara Partner’s portfolio of forward-looking, sustainable investments, and we look forward to being a source of strategic support and capital for Centric as they execute on their expansion plans.”
James Wang, Principal at Ara Partners, added “Centric is a strong company that is well-positioned to capture significant market share by bringing affordable natural gas to growing demand centers in Texas. Natural gas is more cost and carbon footprint efficient than other forms of energy for homes and commercial businesses, and we are delighted to work alongside Centric to capitalize on attractive opportunities in this area.”
Locke Lord LLP served as legal counsel to Centric and White & Case LLP served as legal counsel to Ara Partners in connection with the transaction.
About Ara Partners
Ara Partners is an alternative asset manager focused on the industrial, chemicals & materials and energy sectors. Ara Partners takes a thematic approach to investing within these sectors by seeking to build businesses that have exposure to the ongoing energy transition, benefiting from the secular changes in the energy and power markets and the increasing importance of sustainability and efficiency. For more information on Ara Partners, please visit www.arapartners.com.
About Centric Gas Services
Centric Gas Services, LLC, a holding company, distributes and sells natural gas to residential, commercial, and industrial customers. Centric currently owns and operates four local gas distribution companies and three gas transmission pipeline companies serving approximately 14,500 customers in high-growth areas of the State of Texas. Centric is headquartered in Magnolia, Texas. For more information on Centric, please visit www.txgas.net.