Baird Capital Partners Acquires HRI from The Home Depot

CHICAGO, September 8, 2011
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.

About Baird Capital Partners
Baird Capital Partners, the U.S.-based buyout fund of Baird Private Equity, invests in lower middle-market companies in the business services, manufactured products and healthcare sectors. Established in 1989, Baird Capital Partners leverages its deep sector knowledge, experienced investment team and extensive operating resources to drive value in its portfolio companies. Baird Capital Partners is supported by operating resources in China (Beijing, Hong Kong, and Shanghai) and India (Bangalore) focused on facilitating and executing Asia sourcing, manufacturing and distribution strategies for Baird Capital Partners’ portfolio companies. Baird Private Equity, the global private equity group of Robert W. Baird & Co. (Baird), makes venture capital, growth equity and buyout investments in smaller, high potential companies in the United States through Baird Venture Partners and Baird Capital Partners, in China through Baird Capital Partners Asia, and in Europe through Baird Capital Partners Europe. Baird Private Equity has a global team of investment and operations professionals across the United States, Europe and Asia, including a team of operating professionals in Asia. Baird Private Equity and its affiliates have raised and managed over $2.8 billion in capital and invested in more than 250 companies since the 1980s. For more information, please visit