Dealflow | June 6, 2022

Apis & Heritage helps businesses in Denver and El Paso become employee-owned

Jessica Pothering
ImpactAlpha Editor

Jessica Pothering

ImpactAlpha, June 6 – Apis & Heritage last year launched a buyout fund to help small and mid-sized businesses with large Black and Brown workforces transition to employee ownership. The Washington, D.C.-based investment firm has inked its first two deals: Denver-based Apex Plumbing and El Paso, Tex.-based Accent Landscaping Contractors.

The companies employ a total of 150 workers, who now own 100% of each company. 

Succession planning

Apis & Heritage’s Legacy Fund helps retiring business owners transfer company ownership to employees at a fair market price.

“I could have sold my business to a competitor or private equity, but I know what can happen next – the culture changes and people get laid off,” said Cameron Stevens, who founded Accent more than 40 years ago. “I didn’t want that for my employees.”

A&H says worker-owners in its portfolio can retire with $70,000 to $120,000 in savings.

Private equity firm KKR said it aims to expand its employee-owner model from its manufacturing portfolio to all majority investments in its private equity platform in the America.

Last month, KKR launched the nonprofit Ownership Works to help public and private companies transition to shared ownership.