Bengur Bryan Advises 3E, LLC

3E, LLC

Bengur Bryan arranged $67.5 million in senior debt and preferred equity for 3E, LLC (the “Company”), a utilities service provider, to repurchase equity from a minority investor and refinance its debt to position it for growth.

Under the Benton-Georgia, LLC and Pipe Strong, LLC subsidiaries, 3E installs, inspects, maintains and replaces critical infrastructure for blue-chip, investor-owned natural gas utilities throughout the Southeast and Midwest regions. With history dating back to 1914, 3E enables utilities to reach their infrastructure goals and is well positioned to help its utility partners expand, improve maintenance and replace aging utility networks. The Company is a certified Minority Business Enterprise and is wholly owned by 3.5.7.11, a technology development, patent and private investment firm which has holdings in the data center, energy and financial services industries.

“The Bengur Bryan team served as an invaluable resource in structuring a transaction that allowed us to buy out our non-control equity partner and arrange a capital structure that sets up 3E to better serve our customers,” said Dale LeFebvre, founder of 3.5.7.11. “The team expertly managed a complex multi-party transaction and negotiated numerous competing interests, allowing us to reclaim 100% of the equity ownership and position our Company for growth. We look forward to continuing our relationship with Bengur Bryan.”

“Scott, Pat and Charles at Bengur Bryan partnered with us to execute a complicated set of transactions with multiple parties on a very tight timeline,” said 3E Chief Financial Officer Jay Scherer. “The Bengur Bryan team was instrumental in supporting and preparing 3E for its next chapter of growth.”

2020 Year in Review

2020 began with only a hint of the disruption that COVID-19 would cause. As the pandemic spread, many of our clients’ companies were required to close or reduce their activities—severely in some cases. Many companies were faced with the challenge of simply staying afloat.

Our traditional M&A and capital markets deals were delayed, and we shifted gears to help our clients maneuver through these turbulent times. From helping our clients renegotiate loan agreements with their lenders, navigate the application process for new loan programs, such as the Payroll Protection Program (PPP) and Main Street programs, or seek capital from other sources to ensure they had enough cash to meet their fixed obligations and payroll, we offered advice and encouragement as needed. On a pro bono basis, we assisted over 50 businesses and non-profit charities to apply for a PPP loan.

In the first half of 2020, lenders and private equity firms mainly focused on their portfolio companies, resulting in little market activity. As the impact of COVID-19 on various industries became clearer however, companies that benefited from this changed environment—like janitorial services (Business Services) and quick service restaurants (Consumer Products & Services)—saw interest from both strategic and financial buyers.

A Few of Our Notable 2020 Transactions

Bengur Bryan represented Proximas Group with its purchase of ADG Creative, LLC, a leading strategic communications firm providing business-focused creative solutions for government agencies and commercial entities.

Bengur Bryan represented National Janitorial Solutions, a nationwide provider of janitorial services to a wide variety of retail, healthcare, industrial, office, and educational facilities operators, in its sale to Revolent Capital Solutions.

Bengur Bryan also served as the exclusive financial advisor to PJPA, LLC, a long-time Papa John’s Pizza franchisee, in the sale of its 18 New Jersey and Delaware restaurants. The sale attracted interest from franchisees looking to consolidate a territory to restaurant companies aiming to diversify their holdings. With the pandemic, quick service concepts, like Papa John’s Pizza, benefited from the shift to carryout and delivery options.

Our team is growing; we are pleased to have Patrick Frazier, Jeff Rummell, and Samantha Woolf join the Bengur Bryan team. As we look forward to 2021, we are optimistic that business activity across many industries will return to normal. As has been the case historically, a disruptive crisis creates both challenges and opportunities.

We continue to support our clients affected by COVID-19 and will be looking for merger and acquisition opportunities for companies that will benefit from industry shifts and the expected economic recovery. We thank you for your continued partnership and hope this new year brings you renewed health and success.