citybiz+ PE Firm Blue Sage Buys Stake in Geo-Solutions

Geo-Solutions, a Kensington, Pa.-based provider of geo-technical and environmental remediation services, has sold an undisclosed stake to Blue Sage Capital, a private equity firm in Austin, Texas. Financial terms were not disclosed.

“We are excited to enter the next chapter of the Geo-Solutions story alongside Blue Sage, a proven value-added investor in the environmental industry,” said Geo-Solutions President and CEO Darin Payne, an industry veteran who has previously worked at Compass Environmental (formerly Williams Environmental) and AECOM.

Blue Sage’s co-founder and managing partner, Peter Huff, said Geo-Solutions has differentiated itself through its deep industry knowledge, and its “ability to safely complete some of the industry’s most complex engagements.”

Blue Sage was represented in the transaction by Queen Saenz + Schutz PLLC (Legal), Kroll (Accounting & IT), Cherry Bekaert (Tax), and NFP (Insurance). Geo-Solutions was represented by FMI Capital Advisors.

Organic, Inorganic Growth

Founded by industry veteran Chris Ryan in 1996, Geo-Solutions provides construction technologies, including soil mixing, jet grouting, slurry walls, bio-polymer collection trenches, and other grouting services.

Over the years, it has grown organically, as well as through acquisitions. In 2012, it merged with a bankrupt rival, Geo-Con, also founded by Ryan. In 2023, Geo-Solutions acquired the remediation assets of FECC, which focuses on use of steam enhanced soil mixing. The acquisition included specialty equipment and a data acquisition system.

Geo-Solutions has completed over 1,500 projects in the United States, Canada, Brazil, Japan, Ireland and Australia. In 2008, it established a subsidiary in Canada, adding to partnerships with local contractors in Australia, China, and Brazil. The firm was awarded the US Bureau of Reclamation Safety Award for the Watkins Dam project.

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In addition to headquarters in the outskirts of Pittsburgh, Pa., Geo-Solutions has offices in Lakewood, Colo. and St. Petersburg, Fla.

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Ex-McKinsey exec at Helm
Founded in 2002, Blue Sage, based in Austin, Texas, invests in profitable and growing lower middle-market companies. Typically, it invests between $25 million to $50 million in control buyout investments and recapitalizations of companies with $25 million to $125 million in annual revenues.

Co-founders Huff and Jim McBride serve as Blue Sage’s managing partners. A former McKinsey consultant, Huff was previously a partner at private equity fund Austin Ventures, and a managing member at J. H. Whitney. McBride was previously a senior, non-family executive of The LBJ Holding Company, a private investment holding company of the family of Lyndon and Lady Bird Johnson.