Nautic Partners, LLC (“Nautic”), a middle-market private equity firm that has managed over $4.2 billion of assets over its history, announced today that its portfolio company Source4Teachers, LLC (“S4T”), a national provider of managed services for K-12 school districts covering substitute teachers, paraprofessionals, and educational support staff, has merged with Education Solutions Services, LLC (“ESS”).
ESS was founded in 2016 by the same experienced management team that, in partnership with Nautic, built the highly successful education division of GCA, an outsourced provider of facilities services. Under the leadership of Buddy Helton, the team grew GCA’s education business from a small start-up into a sophisticated enterprise with over $500 million in annual revenue, cultivating a reputation for putting the customer first and focusing relentlessly on quality of service. As of Nautic’s sale of GCA to Blackstone in 2012, Helton’s unit served 165 K-12 districts and 55 colleges (and continued to expand thereafter), improving service levels dramatically while being highly economical for the customers, all of which culminated in an industry-leading customer retention rate of 98.5%.
As a combined company with ESS, S4T will serve nearly 300 districts across 10 states and employ approximately 40,000 educational professionals and 230 corporate staff members. The two companies together filled over 1.2 million educator and support staff absences in school year 2016-17.
“ESS is thrilled to be joining forces with Source4Teachers and leading the next phase of the combined company’s growth,” stated Buddy Helton, who has assumed the role of CEO. “We have tremendous respect for what Kendley and the Source4Teachers team have accomplished over the past three years, nearly tripling the company’s revenue and district count while building top-flight systems, processes, and management talent that have dramatically increased the efficiency and quality with which S4T serves its clients.”
Kendley Davenport, former CEO, will remain in a senior leadership position and will continue to advance the growth of the company.
“The merger with ESS is one of the most exciting and significant steps that S4T has taken on its path to become the national leader in the educational human resources industry,” stated Davenport. “Buddy and his team have an exemplary track record of success in the K-12 market and a deep-rooted philosophy that good businesses are founded on providing excellent service to customers.”
“The pairing of ESS’ extensive K-12 industry experience with the management systems and field support of S4T, the largest pure-play company in the industry, will be a winning combination. We are now the optimal platform to deliver outstanding support to clients nationwide,” added Helton. “We plan to expand our geographic footprint, make accretive acquisitions, and continue to deliver excellent, hands-on service to our district partners as the company continues on its rapid growth trajectory.”