Air Cooled Exchangers

Air Cooled Exchangers




Air Cooled Exchangers (“ACE”) is a manufacturer of high‐quality, custom engineered air‐cooled heat exchangers serving the energy industry. The majority of ACE’s products are found in natural gas compression packages, which are deployed to regulate the flow of gas wherever it is produced, transported, processed, stored and delivered. Other applications include gas refrigeration and processing plants, and standby power generation.


ACE’s CEO and his two children were 100% owners of the business which had grown rapidly over the prior ten years. The family wanted to diversify its net worth while maintaining operating leadership of the business. The transaction with Clearview allowed them to monetize the majority of the value in the company while maintaining a 40% equity stake in the recapitalized business.

Investment Date: June 2007
Investment Status: Exited December 2012
Fund Equity Invested: $18.3 million
Process Type: Limited Process sourced by Anthony Veith

Post Acquisitions Initiatives

Management Augmentation:

  • Recruited an experienced CFO to replace an inexperienced bookkeeper.
  • Expanded the sales force to capitalize on new product opportunities.
  • Transitioned management of critical systems from the CEO to a talented, newly hired executive.

Organic Growth:

  • Expanded capacity by 30% by acquiring a neighboring facility.
  • Developed three proprietary product improvements which allowed the company’s products to penetrate adjacent end markets and substitute for custom radiators in power generation applications.
  • Added sales representation in an adjacent segment that drove significant growth and share gains.

Tracking Critical Metrics:

  • Implemented weekly reporting of critical metrics including orders, backlog, net price / list price ratio, profitability per labor hour, etc.


  • Maintained industry leading margins and cash flow throughout a sharp industry down cycle by rapidly scaling the business back to meet falling demand while preserving the ability to rebound.

Operating Results

Maintained profitability and positive cash flow as the company weathered the worst downturn ever experienced in the natural gas industry. After a decline of more than 70% from peak profitability, the company rebounded to approximately the same levels of revenue and EBITDA as at acquisition. Due to strong cash flow throughout the downturn the company repaid approximately 70% of its acquisition debt over the life of the investment.


ACE was sold to a strategic buyer in December 2012.

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