Levine Leichtman Capital Partners Portfolio Company Blue Ridge ESOP Associates Acquires Tax Benefits Plan Services Business of Crowe


Acquisition further strengthens Blue Ridge’s leadership position in the

ESOP and 401(k) third party administration and recordkeeping market

LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Blue Ridge ESOP Associates (“Blue Ridge”), a portfolio company of Levine Leichtman Capital Partners (“LLCP”), announced today that it has acquired substantially all of the Tax Benefits Plan Services business (the “BPS business”) of Crowe LLP. The addition of the BPS business further strengthens Blue Ridge’s position as the leading independent ESOP and 401(k) third party administration and recordkeeping firm.

The BPS business has built a track record of strong performance in employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) services and retirement plan services. Its nearly 30 employees currently serve over 400 clients and more than 500 plans that are expected to transition to Blue Ridge. The combination of the businesses brings together two of the highest-quality organizations in the industry with strong reputations for outstanding product offerings and client service. The combination of skills and expertise, and the bundling of services is expected to drive new opportunities for clients and long-term growth for the company.

“We are excited to bring together Crowe’s BPS business and people with Blue Ridge,” said Bill Yoerger, Chief Executive Officer of Blue Ridge. “The two businesses are a great fit, as the technical expertise of the BPS business’ team and its personalized client-centric culture mirrors ours. We are grateful to our partners at LLCP for their valuable assistance in envisioning and executing this important transaction.”

Josh Kaufman, Senior Managing Director at LLCP, added, “This strategic acquisition reflects our increased support of Blue Ridge and cements the company’s leadership position in ESOP and 401(k) third party administration and recordkeeping. The addition of the valuable talent and expertise of the Crowe BPS business significantly enhances Blue Ridge’s service offering and positions the company for considerable future growth. We look forward to continuing our collaboration with Bill and the entire Blue Ridge management team.”

Blue Ridge is a portfolio company of LLCP Lower Middle Market Fund, L.P.­­­

About Blue Ridge ESOP Associates

Founded in 1988, Blue Ridge ESOP Associates is the largest independent ESOP and 401(k) Third Party Administration and Recordkeeping firm. Blue Ridge provides high quality, technically proficient independent plan administration and repurchase obligation forecasting. Blue Ridge administers over 1,200 ESOP company clients and thousands of 401(k) plans. The Blue Ridge family of companies employs over 165 talented professionals and is headquartered in Charlottesville, Virginia. www.blueridgeesop.com

About Crowe

Crowe LLP is a leading public accounting, consulting and technology firm with offices around the world. Crowe uses its deep industry expertise to provide audit services to public and private entities. The firm and its subsidiaries also help clients make smart decisions that lead to lasting value with its tax, advisory and consulting services. Crowe is recognized by many organizations as one of the best places to work in the U.S. As an independent member of Crowe Global, one of the largest global accounting networks in the world, Crowe serves clients worldwide. The network consists of more than 200 independent accounting and advisory services firms in more than 130 countries around the world.

About Levine Leichtman Capital Partners

Levine Leichtman Capital Partners, LLC is a middle-market private equity firm with a 39-year track record of investing across various targeted sectors, including franchising, business and healthcare services, education and engineered products. LLCP utilizes a differentiated Structured Private Equity investment strategy, combining debt and equity capital investments in portfolio companies. This unique structure can provide a less dilutive solution for management teams and entrepreneurs, while delivering growth and income with a significantly lower risk profile.

LLCP’s global team of dedicated investment professionals is led by nine partners who have worked at LLCP for an average of 19 years. Since inception, LLCP has managed approximately $13 billion of institutional capital across 15 investment funds and has invested in over 100 portfolio companies. LLCP currently manages $9 billion of assets and has offices in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Charlotte, Miami, London, Stockholm, The Hague and Frankfurt.


Mark Semer/Sara Widmann

Gasthalter & Co.

(212) 257 4170