MidOcean Partners (“MidOcean”), a premier middle market private equity firm focused on the business services and consumer sectors, announced today its acquisitions and merger of HW Holdco, LLC (“Hanley Wood”), the leading B2B media and information services company serving the U.S. residential construction industry, and Meyers Research, LLC (“Meyers Research”), the leading provider of real-time market data and advisory services to the homebuilding industry, which was previously a subsidiary of global real estate investment company Kennedy Wilson (NYSE: KW). The merger creates one of the residential construction industry’s most comprehensive information and advisory services platforms.
Through Metrostudy and Zonda – the respective data products of Hanley Wood and Meyers Research – the combined company will offer data spanning the full homebuilding lifecycle, from land acquisition and property development and build, to new home sales and marketing. In addition to having access to a comprehensive data solution, customers will benefit from shared insights through Meyers Research’s advisory business, as well as Hanley Wood’s leading B2B media portfolio and sophisticated marketing services capabilities.
The combined company will be led by CEO Jeff Meyers, founder and President of Meyers Research, who brings over 30 years of industry experience to the role. Prior to forming Meyers Research in 2006, Mr. Meyers led Hanley Wood Market Intelligence, the predecessor to Metrostudy. “Today marks a historic moment for Hanley Wood and Meyers Research. I am thrilled that our organizations have come together as one and look forward to working with these talented teams to continue to push the boundaries of innovation in our industry. The combination of these complementary offerings will enable us to accelerate new product development and deliver the most robust capabilities and services in the industry to our customers,” commented Meyers.
Mr. Meyers will be joined by an experienced management team from both Hanley Wood and Meyers Research. Peter Goldstone, current Hanley Wood CEO, will work to help ensure a smooth and successful transition. Goldstone commented, “My 18 years at Hanley Wood have been incredibly rewarding and exciting. It has been an honor to work with all of the outstanding professionals that have made Hanley Wood a company that is respected by all, both within the construction and design markets, and the broader B2B information and media landscape. The past chapter has been one of growth and transformation, positioning Hanley Wood to thrive and expand in the future.”
Barrett Gilmer, Managing Director of MidOcean, commented, “We are excited to bring together two of the premier players in the residential construction data industry. This transformational merger creates a significantly expanded offering for customers and provides for greater benefits and growth opportunities than either company could have achieved alone. Additionally, we are thrilled to partner with a seasoned industry executive in Jeff Meyers, and believe that he is uniquely qualified to drive incremental insights for customers given his leadership roles at both Metrostudy and Zonda.”
MidOcean has maintained a longtime institutional focus on the B2B information services space, including through its current investment in Questex and its prior investment in Penton. MidOcean’s industry knowledge and significant operating resource talent, including David Kieselstein, Chairman of MidOcean’s Executive Board and former CEO of Penton, will be valuable in successfully executing the company’s strategic growth plan.
MidOcean will be the controlling shareholder of the combined company, and Kennedy Wilson will retain a minority ownership position. Other financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP acted as legal advisor to MidOcean. Evercore served as financial advisor and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP acted as legal advisor to Hanley Wood. Vaquero Capital served as financial advisor and Latham & Watkins, LLP acted as legal advisor to Meyers Research.