Carmanah crosses over to Vance Street

LA-based private equity group buys pedestrian and traffic crosswalk safety firm Carmanah
Enforcement / May 4, 2022
By Adam Hill
Carmanah Polara Vance Street stop sign crosswalk safety private equity (image credit: Carmanah Technologies)
Vance Street says it will invest in Carmanah's organic product development initiatives (image credit: Carmanah Technologies)

Private equity firm Vance Street Capital has bought Canadian traffic tech provider Carmanah Technologies Corp for an undisclosed sum.

Carmanah and Polara Enterprises - a crosswalk device company which Vance Street bought last December - will form Vance Street’s traffic and pedestrian safety ITS platform.

Los Angeles-based Vance Street says it now plans to invest in both Carmanah and Polara’s "organic product development initiatives as well as complementary M&A in an effort to further support Vision Zero’s movement to eliminate traffic-related fatalities by providing a holistic product and technology solution to municipalities and DoTs".

Based in Victoria, BC, Carmanah designs and manufactures solar- and AC-powered systems for pedestrian and traffic safety across North America, with applications including mid-block crosswalks, school zones, traffic calming and general hazard marking.

Polara has had a vendor relationship with Carmanah for the past decade.

Geoff Wilcox, president & CEO of Carmanah, said the acquisition by Vance Street "kickstarts a new and exciting phase for us".

Vance Street partner Steve Sandbo says: “The formation of this platform with Polara and Carmanah is a great example of Vance Street’s strategy of supporting best-in-class management teams through investment to accelerate their technology and product innovation to provide best-in-class solution offerings for critical safety applications.”

Harris Williams was financial advisor to Vance Street and Polara, while Paul Hastings and Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg served as legal advisors.

Fort Capital Partners and Borden Ladner Gervais were financial and legal advisors to Carmanah and debt financing for the transaction was provided by Barings’ Global Private Credit. 

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