“Private equity is a wonderful vehicle to fund growth, but it’s all about the people. You have to trust them. That’s why we chose TorQuest.”
Jack Lee started out with an idea—to provide on-site refueling services and Web-based fuel management software to save costs for trucking and heavy equipment operators—and built a thriving business around it with a world-class sales culture and organization. When Jack reached his 60s, he decided the time was right to look for a private equity investor to monetize part of his ownership, provide the capital to continue to expand the business and help develop a strategy to accelerate earnings to keep pace with sales growth.
We liked the business fundamentals. And we liked the idea of partnering with Jack and the management team, who invested in the company alongside our capital. We saw a powerful value creation opportunity in investing in 4Refuel and, together with Jack, recruiting a CEO with proven operating expertise to drive growth and earnings. We found that CEO in John Gleason, who took a stake in the business and brought sophisticated route-based service logistics experience to the table.
With new leadership and TorQuest’s capital and support, 4Refuel saw rapid sales growth and added operational execution capabilities, increasing the fleet of 4Refuel trucks across Canada, driving top-line growth and more than doubling EBITDA within three years. TorQuest and Jack Lee jointly decided to exit the business, selling it to Kelso & Company and realizing an excellent return for investors, including the management team, who remained to run the business as a Kelso portfolio company.
“TorQuest made sure our interests were aligned from the start—and they never dictated decisions. They worked with me.”