PFAS

Pacific Avenue Capital Partners purchases KiddeFenwal Fire Suppression Firm – DCD

Pacific Avenue Capital Partners, a private equity firm, has acquired the fire suppression company KiddeFenwal.

Pacific Avenue, a private equity firm that specializes in carve outs and complex situations and focuses on the middle market, announced this week it had completed its acquisition of KiddeFenwal. KiddeFenwal is a designer and producer of industrial and commercial safety controls and fire suppression systems.

The terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

The investment firm stated that the deal will allow KiddeFenwal to “substantially grow” in the US as well as globally.

The company was founded in 1917 and serves industries such as power generation, transmission, commercial food service (commercial kitchens), marine, industrial, HVAC, and more. The company sells fire detection and suppression systems, as well as fire extinguishers, through its Kidde Fire Systems and Kidde Fire Protection units.

Last year, the company declared bankruptcy amid lawsuits related to water contamination.

KiddeFenwal is a global leader for fire safety systems and controls. It has a strong brand, enviable products, and a long-standing customer relationship. James Oh, a partner at Pacific Avenue Capital Partners, said that the company is now poised to accelerate its growth. Our team is looking forward to helping the business fully leverage its fundamentals and market tailwinds. We will also invest in operations to support our exceptional teams and enhance the value we provide to our customers, who put a great deal of trust in our products.

Chris Sznewajs is the founder and managing director of Pacific Avenue Capital Partners. He said: “I’m excited to welcome KiddeFenwal and its team and I look forward to the future.” This company is well-positioned to capitalize on its market and industry leadership.

Pacific Avenue was approved to purchase Kidde-Fenwal, Inc. on April 2, 2024 by the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware, and acquired the company from HVAC firm Carrier Global Corporation. Carrier acquired KiddeFenwal in 2005 from United Technologies. The company was spun off as part of United’s merger in 2020 with Raytheon.

In May 2023, the company declared bankruptcy amid a series of lawsuits involving PFAS-contaminated water near US military bases and airports.

KiddeFenwal is named in over 4,400 lawsuits filed since 2016 alleging that aqueous foam-forming products (AFFF) contaminated soil and drinking water with polyfluoroalkyl or perfluoroalkyl compounds. KiddeFenwal sold AFFF under the National Foam label from 2007 until 2013, before selling this unit.

Carrier stated that KiddeFenwal “was not a strategic fit” with the group in light of the lawsuits. Carrier stated that it was not responsible of KiddeFenwal’s AFFF activities and would not financially support the unit, which led to the bankruptcy filing.

Carrier stated at the time that all proceeds would be used to settle AFFF claims and liabilities. Creditors, litigators and others said that bankruptcy should not be used as a way to settle lawsuits against Carrier or Raytheon.

Pacific Avenue received financial and legal advice from Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Incorporated.