Cobalt Service Partners Launches, Acquires Piedmont Door Solutions
Alpine Investors just launched Cobalt Service Partners, and Cobalt has already acquired access solutions leader Piedmont Door Solutions.
Alpine Investors launched Cobalt Service Partners this morning, with Cobalt simultaneously announcing the acquisition of Piedmont Door Solutions. Cobalt is a new platform focused on buying and building exceptional access solutions businesses.
Piedmont Door Solutions is, of course, the provider of commercial doors and entrance solutions. Its geographic footprint spreads across the southeast, southwest and mid-Atlantic.
According to Cobalt, it buys market-leading businesses across a range of access solutions categories. Indeed, its areas of interest include overhead doors and docks, commercial doors, security gates, access control systems and video surveillance systems. Cobalt seeks to accelerate organic growth of its businesses with a focus on attracting and engaging top talent.
Cobalt Co-CEO Reflects on Piedmont Acquisition
In an exclusive interview with Security Sales & Integration, Tyler Hoffman, co-CEO of Cobalt, offers insight into why Alpine Investors launched the new platform.
“After exhaustive research of many different industries, Alpine determined that the access solutions market is big, is fragmented and faces major labor demand/supply imbalances,” he says. “These markets are a great fit for Alpine’s buy-and-build strategy.”
Hoffman notes that Cobalt’s launch plans unfolded over the past 12 months.
Meanwhile, Piedmont Door Solutions — Cobalt’s first acquisition — came into existence back in 2001 when Pat Keane founded it in Charlotte, N.C. Since an investment in 2016, industry veteran Chris Mitchell has served as leader.
According to a media announcement, Piedmont successfully expanded its operation geographically since its founding. The company is known for its dedicated team, as well as its high-quality design, installation and maintenance services across a variety of commercial door products.
In exclusive comments to Security Sales & Integration, Hoffman says his team initiated contact with Piedmont Door Solutions this past summer. He also makes clear that Cobalt and Alpine’s strategy is to grow acquired businesses via investments in people, technology and operational best practices.
“Cutting headcount to save costs isn’t our model,” he says. “We expect to grow the Piedmont team — while preserving its unique and powerful culture — significantly over time.”
Accordingly, under Cobalt’s ownership, Mitchell will continue as CEO of the business. Meanwhile, Tarrell Graham is the newly promoted COO. Plus, Keith Mehltretter and Jim Adams earned promotions to regional vice president.
Supercharging Business Growth
According to Hoffman, industry observers should think of Cobalt as a partner organization to its businesses. Its goal, he says, is to help supercharge those businesses’ growth. And, indeed, it plans to deliver on that via centralized investments in recruiting infrastructure, technology, and training and development.
“Piedmont will continue to operate as the Piedmont brand,” Hoffman declares. “[There will be] decision-making ability at the local level based on customer and employee needs.”
“I couldn’t be more excited for Piedmont’s future,” Mitchell enthuses. He marvels at how much the team has achieved already. “And this partnership with Cobalt enables us to go faster and bigger than we ever imagined would be possible,” he says.
“It also secures Piedmont’s future for generations to come,” says Mitchell. “On behalf of the entire Piedmont team, we’re thrilled for what lies ahead.”
Keane, founder of Piedmont Door Solutions, expresses tremendous pride in what the company accomplished over the past 22 years. Moreover, he expresses gratitude that Piedmont’s legacy will live on under Cobalt.
“I couldn’t be more excited about the possibility of Piedmont’s model and mission expanding nationwide,” Keane remarks.
Hoffman and Anthony Gonzalez will lead Cobalt as co-CEOs. Hoffman’s remit is overseeing mergers and acquisitions. Meanwhile, Gonzalez will oversee organic growth. Hoffman previously served as CEO of Radicle Health, an Alpine software business that completed eight acquisitions during his tenure.
Gonzalez served in Congress from 2019 to 2023, where he represented his hometown district of Cleveland, Ohio. Previously, he worked as COO at InformedK12, an EdTech startup. He also led sales at Beneco, an Alpine portfolio company.
Cobalt Hopes to Empower Access Solutions Businesses Like Piedmont
Hoffman expresses his desire for Cobalt to make an impact in the physical and electronic security industry.
“Our hope is to offer service-oriented access solutions founders…a long-term home for their business,” he says. “If we do it right, by offering these founders a long-term home, we’ll be able to preserve the long-term sustainability of these local businesses that do excellent work for their customers and communities.”
In a joint statement, the co-CEOs add, “We’re thrilled to launch Cobalt Service Partners to offer founders a long-term home for their businesses and support the blue-collar workers driving their communities forward.” They conclude, “We couldn’t be happier to start this journey with Chris and the incredible Piedmont team.”
Cobalt is actively evaluating and seeking access solutions businesses across the country.
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