Brentwood Associates, a Los Angeles-based private equity firm, has acquired majority control of Watermill Express LLC, partnering with the co-founders, Lani and Don Dolifka, as their first institutional partner. Watermill Express’ refill stations provide drinking water and ice in a drive-up format.
“We are so excited to partner with the Brentwood team on the next chapter in the Watermill Express story,” Lani Dolifka said. “Providing affordable, sustainable, safe drinking water and ice to consumers has been one of our life’s passions, and our partnership with Brentwood opens up significant opportunities to expand our mission.”
Eric Reiter, partner at Brentwood, commented, “Lani and Don have created a national treasure. It is quite inspiring to think about the number of lives positively affected by their ultra-clean water stations and the amount of plastic saved from landfills. With so many communities yet to experience Watermill Express, it is with great passion and excitement that the Brentwood team embarks on this new partnership.”
Rahul Aggarwal, partner at Brentwood, added, “Watermill Express is a perfect fit within our strategy of investing in high-growth, world-class consumer businesses. ‘Doing well by doing good’ is also a key tenet of our investment thesis and the team’s passion and commitment to achieving universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water resonates with us deeply.”
Lani and Don will maintain a significant minority ownership stake post-transaction. In addition, as part of the transaction, a multimillion-dollar charitable fund will be established to provide support to underserved areas of the U.S. in need of safe drinking water.
North Point Advisors LLC advised Watermill Express on the transaction, while Holland & Hart LLP provided legal counsel. Brentwood was represented by Kirkland & Ellis LLP and Burr & Forman LLP.