Area Wide Protective Acquired By Kohlberg & Company

NORTH CANTON, Ohio, Dec. 23, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Area Wide Protective ("AWP" or the "Company"), a leading utility services firm, today announced that it has been acquired by Kohlberg & Company, LLC ("Kohlberg"), a New York-based private equity firm. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Headquartered in North Canton, Ohio, AWP provides comprehensive traffic control and safety services to electric and gas utilities as well as to telecommunications and infrastructure customers. With over 5,000 employees in more than 110 facilities across 21 states and eastern Canada, AWP helps direct or re-route traffic in support of infrastructure maintenance, repair, or construction projects affecting public roads. AWP delivers a turnkey solution, providing on-site technicians, equipment and vehicles, in addition to permitting and design services.

In conjunction with the transaction closing, John Sypek, who led AWP as CEO since 2012, has retired from executive duties but remains with the Company as Vice Chairman, while Ron Childress has been named the Company's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. Ron joins AWP following a 30-year career at Osmose Utilities Services, where he most recently served as Chief Executive Officer. Childress stated, "I am thrilled for the opportunity to lead AWP and I look forward to working closely with John during the transition as well as the AWP leadership team as we continue to build a national platform that provides best-in-class traffic safety services."

John Sypek commented, "I am proud of the accomplishments we have achieved together at AWP and the successful transformation that the Company has undergone over the last eight years. I look forward to working closely with Ron and Kohlberg in this exciting next chapter of growth."

Benjamin Mao, Partner at Kohlberg, noted, "We are delighted to partner with Ron and the AWP management team, as the Company has established itself as the leading traffic control platform in North America." Mao continued, "Paired with Kohlberg's utility services background, we believe AWP is well-positioned to accelerate growth and to bolster a national footprint."

Houlihan Lokey and KeyBanc Capital Markets served as financial advisors and Ropes & Gray LLP served as legal counsel to Kohlberg.

About Area Wide Protective
Since 1993, AWP has been providing traffic control management services to major utility companies, municipalities, and contractors. AWP's more than 110 locations provide daily operations that span over 21 U.S. states and eastern Canada. Known as North America's Traffic Control leader, AWP is a comprehensive, one-stop traffic control organization, providing around the-clock service every day of the year. To learn more, visit

About Kohlberg & Company, LLC
Kohlberg & Company, LLC ("Kohlberg") is a leading private equity firm headquartered in Mount Kisco, New York. Since its inception in 1987, Kohlberg has organized nine private equity funds, through which it has raised over $10 billion of committed equity capital. Over its 33-year history, Kohlberg has completed 83 platform investments and nearly 200 add-on acquisitions, with an aggregate transaction value in excess of $27 billion. For more information, please visit

CONTACT: Kristina Schnepf, AWP, Inc.,

More from Machinery & Machining Tools

All Topics