Advent-Morro Invests in U.S. Bottleless Water Cooler Industry
Quench receives $17 million to support its national expansion plans
San Juan, Puerto Rico—October 14, 2011 - San Juan-based ADVENT-MORRO Equity Partners, a leading Hispanic private equity firm focused on expansion capital and lower middle market buyouts, invested in Pennsylvania based Quench, Inc. (“Quench”) the largest independent provider of workplace Point-Of-Use (“POU”) water coolers in the United States.
The Company, headquartered in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, has more than 50,000 units operating nationwide. Quench was formed in 2005 through the merger of seven regional bottle-less water cooler dealers. It has continued to grow by acquiring several POU water dispenser companies in different geographic regions and is on its way to being the first country-wide POU water cooler platform with the ability to service national accounts under one roof. Quench has the most complete product offering in the market, offering tailored filtration solutions and thus positioning itself as the leader in the industry.
This is Advent-Morro’s second investment in the POU water cooler market, having invested in 2010 in Quality Water Service (“QWS”), a San Juan, Puerto Rico-based POU company.
In the current Quench investment, Advent-Morro invested alongside Element Partners, the Virgin Green Fund and Quench’s Chairman, Doug Brown. Advent-Morro has partnered with the same investor group in the past, most recently in Seven Seas Water, which builds and operates desalination and wastewater treatment plants in the Caribbean.
The Company’s CEO, Mr. Anthony Ibargen, was born of Puerto Rican and Cuban parents and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Anthony left Puerto Rico to earn degrees from Boston College and Harvard Business School. He previously worked as CEO and/or President of multibillion dollar IT-sector companies such as Insight Enterprises (NSIT) and Tech Data (TECD), and is leveraging his experience to help Quench navigate through its rapid expansion in the U.S. and Latin American markets.
Cyril Meduña, founder and Managing Partner of Advent-Morro, stated, “Backing Tony is in line with Advent-Morro’s unique strategy of sourcing high quality proprietary investment opportunities by using its extensive Hispanic network to identify and support the most talented Hispanic entrepreneurs in the country. Tony and Quench are exactly that.” David Ashe, Advent-Morro’s Partner that leads the firm’s investments in this space highlighted that “from an overall portfolio point of view, the investment in Quench will allow us to leverage our experience in the water cooler business across a larger platform and solidifying our penetration in the POU market on a national platform. Advent-Morro also sees significant opportunities to help both our companies seek operating synergies, share best practices, and identify U.S. and international growth opportunities.”
Industry studies forecast the POU market segment to grow 14% annually, almost all at the expense of the traditional plastic bottled water dispensers. According to Quench Chairman Doug Brown, “Although Quench is currently the largest independent POU water supplier in the U.S., the Company has the capacity and human resources to continue delivering substantial growth. Most importantly, the profitability of the business improves radically as more coolers are placed under management. The main strategic objective is to grow the business into a national platform with regional service territories.”
Over the last decade, POU systems have been displacing traditional 5-gallon bottled water coolers as they represent a more convenient and environmentally responsible alternative. Bottle-less coolers provide higher quality water and are less expensive than 5-gallon coolers, as they do not require a centralized water treatment plant or costly dedicated trucks for water bottle delivery. Bottle-less coolers are typically placed in office buildings and leased to users under long-term agreements.
Ibarg?en stated, “We are thrilled to be partnering with Advent-Morro as we further solidify our presence in the marketplace. Quench is in the final stages of becoming a true national distribution and service platform of POU water systems and this infusion of capital will help us achieve this objective sooner.”
Advent-Morro Equity Partners is the leading U.S. private equity firm based in Puerto Rico and focuses on expansion capital and lower middle market buyouts predominantly targeted at companies led by Hispanic management teams or companies targeting the U.S. Hispanic and Latin American markets. Since its inception in 1989, Advent-Morro has invested in more than 40 companies, generating in aggregate over $3.5 billion in annual revenues and employing more than 3,000 people, making a significant contribution to economic development in the markets where those companies operate. For more information, visit www.adventmorro.com.
Quench: Headquartered outside Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Quench USA, Inc. is a clean technology company that rents, installs and services “bottle-less” water filtration systems (also known as point-of-use water coolers) for businesses across North America. Quench systems purify tap water, providing a more cost-effective and environmentally-responsible solution than delivery of water in 5-gallon plastic jugs. With an installed base of more than 50,000 water filtration systems across 47 U.S. states, Mexico, Canada and the Caribbean, Quench is the largest bottle-less water cooler company in North America – serving approximately one-third of the Fortune 500. For more information, please visit www.quenchonline.com.