Private investment firm Ardian has announced that its North America Fund team acquired a majority stake in HVAC expert Tom Barrow Company.


Tom Barrow Company is a provider of commercial HVAC solutions in the US Southeast. The management team and founding family will continue to own a meaningful minority share of the business.


Led by CEO Mike Shea, Tom Barrow is a leading supplier of design-assist engineering and manufacturers’ representation services to the commercial HVAC industry across healthcare, life sciences, education, government, industrial and other commercial end markets.


“We are excited to partner with Ardian to accelerate our growth, while continuing to provide our existing customers with industry-leading levels of service,” said Shea


The company offers a comprehensive range of HVAC product lines, including custom air handling units (AHUs), packaged equipment, precision cooling equipment, air distribution, fans, sheet metal products and a variety of other speciality applied equipment and commercial components.


Tom Barrow is a market-leading HVAC systems supplier, ideally positioned to expand both within its existing geographic markets and into new regions. The company’s resilient end markets, blue-chip customer base, and broad capabilities give us great confidence in the company’s potential


– Kevin Kruse, Managing Director of the North American fund at Ardian


Tom Barrow works with clients to deliver solutions ranging from heating, cooling, filtration, Indoor Air Quality, energy efficiency and ventilation. Through its design assist capabilities, Tom Barrow works with architects, mechanical engineers, building owners and contractors at the outset of the engineering and design process and offers support throughout the HVAC product lifecycle.


Founded in 1955 and headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, the company has ten locations across Georgia, Florida, Tennessee and Alabama, with approximately 240 employees. It has experienced several years of strong growth, driven by both increasing share in existing markets and expanding into new geographies.


“Tom Barrow is a market-leading HVAC systems supplier, ideally positioned to expand both within its existing geographic markets and into new regions,” said Kevin Kruse, Managing Director of the North American fund at Ardian. “We are particularly excited to be working with such a strong management team. The company’s resilient end markets, blue-chip customer base, and broad capabilities give us great confidence in the company’s potential.”



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Tom Barrow also services customers in some of the most technically demanding end markets including hospitals, cleanroom manufacturing facilities and education. Additionally, it specialises in developing energy-efficient HVAC systems, an increasing priority for commercial building owners. It also works with customers to retrofit less efficient HVAC systems in existing buildings with newer energy-efficient systems.


“The commercial HVAC industry benefits from particularly strong secular tailwinds,” added Todd Welsch, Managing Director of Aridan. “Building owners and tenants are increasingly focused on both indoor air quality and energy-efficient buildings. Healthcare facilities, Life sciences labs, EV and battery plants, solar panel plants, and data centres are also all HVAC-intensive, increasing the need for cleanroom levels of purity, specialised cooling, or both. We believe Tom Barrow is well positioned to capture significant share in this attractive market.”


Expanding horizons 


Tom Barrow has already been expanding in recent years. In early 2022, the company acquired Florida-based CMH Solutions. The acquisition became the company’s Southeast Florida Branch, providing even more extensive representation across the Southeast and bringing the company’s total number of locations to eleven, across four states.



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