• August 2, 2021
  • North America

H.I.G. Infrastructure Acquires North America Central School Bus

NEW YORK – August 2, 2021 – H.I.G. Capital (“H.I.G.”), a leading global alternative investment firm with $45 billion of equity capital under management, is pleased to announce that an affiliate has acquired North America Central School Bus, (“NAC” or the “Company”), a leading student transportation provider. NAC’s seasoned management team, led by CEO Steve Hemmerlein, will continue to run the Company.

Headquartered in Joliet, Illinois, NAC currently operates a fleet of approximately 3,000 buses across nine U.S. states, primarily in the Midwest. The Company’s fleet provides transportation for both regular education and special education students, as well as charter services, to about 90 school district customers.

“I am proud of NAC’s success to-date. Our accomplishments are primarily the result of the tireless efforts of our dedicated team members,” said Steve Hemmerlein, NAC’s Chief Executive Officer. “This transaction is a validation of our commitment to servicing our customers, parents, and students alike, and our commitment to getting students to and from school safely. We appreciate the vote of confidence from H.I.G. and look forward to our future growth opportunities.”

“We are pleased to partner with NAC in the next phase of its operations and growth,” said Ed Pallesen, H.I.G. Managing Director and Co-Head of H.I.G. Infrastructure. “NAC has an excellent track record of providing an essential service to its clients and stakeholders. We believe there is a compelling opportunity to support management in growing the business, including through geographic expansion and leading the transition to next-generation bus technology. In addition to maintaining the Company’s excellent operational and safety record, we look forward to advancing fleet electrification initiatives in support of customer objectives and the transition to environmentally friendly, decarbonized modes of transportation.”

BMO Capital Markets Corp. served as financial advisor and Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP served as legal counsel to NAC. Jefferies LLC served as financial advisor and Ropes & Gray LLP served as legal counsel to H.I.G.

About North America Central School Bus
Founded in 2004, North America Central School Bus is a leading provider of student transportation. NAC transports over 150,000 students to and from school each day, traveling more than 40 million miles per year. NAC provides home-to-school services to both regular education and special education students, and provides charter services as well. NAC has over 4,000 employees, including a network of over 3,500 drivers and monitors focused on safely transporting students to and from school and extracurricular activities. The business services customers in Illinois, Texas, Missouri, Idaho, Wisconsin, Indiana, Kansas, Iowa, and Minnesota.

About H.I.G. Capital
H.I.G. is a leading global private equity and alternative assets investment firm with $45 billion of equity capital under management.* Based in Miami, and with offices in New York, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Atlanta in the U.S., as well as international affiliate offices in London, Hamburg, Madrid, Milan, Paris, Bogotá, Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, H.I.G. specializes in providing both debt and equity capital to small and mid-sized companies, utilizing a flexible and operationally focused/ value-added approach:

  1. H.I.G.’s equity funds invest in management buyouts, recapitalizations and corporate carve-outs of both profitable as well as underperforming manufacturing and service businesses.
  2. H.I.G.’s debt funds invest in senior, unitranche and junior debt financing to companies across the size spectrum, both on a primary (direct origination) basis, as well as in the secondary markets. H.I.G. is also a leading CLO manager, through its WhiteHorse family of vehicles, and manages a publicly traded BDC, WhiteHorse Finance.
  3. H.I.G.’s real estate funds invest in value-added properties, which can benefit from improved asset management practices.
  4. H.I.G. Infrastructure focuses on making value-add and core plus investments in the infrastructure sector.

Since its founding in 1993, H.I.G. has invested in and managed more than 300 companies worldwide. The firm’s current portfolio includes more than 100 companies with combined sales in excess of $30 billion. For more information, please refer to the H.I.G. website at www.hig.com.

* Based on total capital commitments managed by H.I.G. Capital and affiliates.


Ed Pallesen
Co-Head of H.I.G. Infrastructure
Managing Director
[email protected]

Paul Gurm
[email protected]

H.I.G. Capital
1271 Avenue of the Americas
22nd Floor
New York, NY 10020
P 212.506.0500
F 212.506.0559