corporate news

By: Katie Lang 

July 24, 2023

In October 2021, Compass Group’s Patrick Murray and Mason Oberg started work on an industrial services investment thesis. Compass Group exercises thematic investing with investment teams conducting deep dives into industries to truly understand them, the companies, and the people who make them go. After a year and a half, the team found the sweet spot where macro trends and business characteristics aligned: Hoist & Crane Service Group out of New Orleans, LA.

Hoist & Crane Service Group, now the fifth platform in Compass Group’s Fund II, is a premier, national provider of inspection, preventative maintenance, and repair solutions to the overhead crane & hoist, industrial elevator, and overhead door markets. They provide various services ranging from OSHA inspections to full-service preventative maintenance on everything from overhead production cranes to small chain hoists for a broad array of industries including pulp and paper, manufacturing, petrochemical, nuclear, automotive, defense, and primary metals. Founded in 1976 by brothers Patrick and Terrance Ross, the company has grown to 500+ people servicing thousands of pieces of equipment for 1800+ customers at 26 locations across the United States.

“Every great partnership we make starts with a passion for the thesis and the people in an industry,” says Stuart Noel, Compass Group’s Director of Business Development. “Our process is people-centric. We take the time to get to know not just the industry but the people at every level that make that industry a place where Compass Group would like to invest. In the case of our Industrial Services thesis, we learned a ton from having conversations with folks throughout the industry and those conversations led us to an amazing partner in Hoist & Crane.”

The Compass Group team dove deep reviewing industrial services businesses such as industrial waste equipment, elevator service, and a host of opportunities that weren’t quite checking all the boxes. Then the team found the overhead crane industry where the stars aligned:

    • Highly recurring maintenance and repair demands for mission-critical equipment.
    • OSHA-mandated inspection and maintenance requirements supported by ever increasing emphasis on workplace safety.
    • Supply chain disruptions in recent years have reenforced the need for domestic manufacturing capabilities.
    • An increasing trend of outsourcing in areas where highly specialized, highly trained technical roles are needed.
    • Fragmented industry where expansion through acquisition is possible.

“When we first met with Terry we knew the industry well, but we were blown away with the impressive business, team, and culture he had built,” explained Murray. “Shortly after digging in on Hoist & Crane we knew it would be a great fit for Compass Group and our style of collaborative partnerships focused on growing great businesses.”

“We are thrilled to partner with Compass Group,” said Matthew Ross, now serving as President & CEO of Hoist & Crane Service Group after nearly two decades working in the company. “Their expertise and resources will help us to continue to deliver outstanding service to our customers while expanding our capabilities and reaching new markets.”

With Matthew Ross at the helm, HCSG is poised for growth with a mission to best serve their customers and their people. Together, Hoist & Crane and Compass Group are investing in new locations; investing in people to drive that growth; and investing in technology to differentiate themselves from others in the space. Hoist & Crane and Compass Group plan to immediately grow the industrial elevator and overhead door segments as well as the HQ footprint to support the company’s expansion.

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