Chem-Dry Franchise System Acquired by Baird Capital

Baird Capital Partners (BCP), the U.S.-based buyout fund of Baird Private Equity, announced today it has acquired Harris Research, Inc. (HRI) from The Home Depot® (NYSE: HD), the world’s largest home improvement specialty retailer. Financing for the transaction is being provided by BMO Harris Bank N.A., BBVA, and Caltius. BCP is joined in the investment by Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, and DLA Piper served as counsel to BCP. The financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Based in Logan, Utah, HRI is a leading franchisor of in-home consumer services in the United States and internationally. The Company’s Chem-Dry brand is the world’s largest provider of carpet and upholstery cleaning services with approximately 4,000 franchises worldwide. Chem-Dry will continue its lead generation program with The Home Depot. HRI’s unique N-Hance wood cabinet and flooring renewal service features more than 200 franchises. N-Hance is part of The Home Depot’s robust kitchen renovations offering and will continue to be available through The Home Depot retail locations in the United States and Canada, as well as directly to consumers.

“We are excited to partner with HRI and to continue building on its successful franchise model, the strength of its brands and the partnership with The Home Depot,” said Randy Mehl, BCP Partner, who will join HRI’s Board of Directors. “HRI has an impressive history of product development and world class technology and we believe our operating talent and global resources will help support the company’s growth.”

BCP partnered with senior executive Dan Tarantin on the acquisition of HRI. Tarantin will join the HRI board of directors and serve as Chairman. He has extensive experience helping services companies grow and succeed, both as an investor and an operator. Previously, he served as President and CEO of Jackson Hewitt Tax Service and has been involved with a number of other home services and franchise businesses, including Century 21 and Coldwell Banker.

“BCP’s strong track record of investing in leading business services companies and supporting their global growth makes them a great partner for HRI,” said Tarantin. “I am thrilled to be working with the HRI team and the franchise owners, and will seek to leverage HRI’s rich history and entrepreneurial spirit to bring the company new levels of success. The franchise owners are the core of our business, and this transaction will renew our focus on helping them grow through increased sales and marketing activities and new products and services. We feel confident that we can continue to fuel franchisee success to drive HRI’s success forward.”

“We are looking ahead to new opportunities that build on our solid foundation of innovation, entrepreneurship and local franchisee support,” said Craig Donaldson, CEO of HRI. “Baird is a great partner as we work to advance this business into the future.”

Atlanta-based investment firm Croft & Bender and law firm Paul Hastings advised The Home Depot on the transaction.