Black Investment Firm Expands Into Gas and Electric Industry With Shrewd Acquisition

Adding to a broad mix of companies it owns, builds up or capitalizes, IMB Development Corp. has acquired LaFata Contract Services (LCS) for an undisclosed amount.

IMB Development is a New York City-based black investment firm that invests in companies in various industries with annual revenues from $10 million to $250 million. LCS is a project and construction management company with $16 million in annual revenues.

With one office in King of  Prussia, Pennsylvania, where it’s based, LCS provides services to gas and electric utilities in Pennsylvania, Maryland, the District of Columbia, and Illinois. More precisely, the company offers project management, engineering, and construction management, substation work, line replacement, and other services. Started in 2001, LCS has more than doubled revenues since 2012.

Tarrus Richardson, IMB’s CEO, says the partnership will allow LCS to potentially open new offices in Maryland, Illinois, and California. It will provide services to electric and gas utilities in those states as well as construction companies. With IMB’s 53% controlling interest, LCS will be converted into a certified Minority-Owned Business Enterprise (MBE) within the upcoming months. The company was previously 100%-owned by its founder, Michael LaFata, who is a white American.

“LCS has built a best-in-class reputation for their deep expertise and reliability in delivering major infrastructure projects for clients,”  Richardson says. “We are honored to partner with LCS to deliver the next era of the company’s growth.”

This year, Richardson says IMB plans to pursue acquisitions for its existing partner companies and new investment partners in the food, insurance, business process outsourcing, IT and utility services sectors. IMB’s partner companies now generate more than $400 million annually in revenue and have over 350 employees.

Started in 2010, IMB buys and builds women- and minority-owned businesses that serve large corporations and government agencies.  IMB’s deal with LCS will allow the firm to gain a presence in the gas and electric utility industry, which is known for its commitment to building and spending with diverse suppliers.

IMB has four partner companies on its roster. Its portfolio includes a $400 million insurance advisory and managed service provider, in a partnership with Willis Towers Watson. Other IMB partner companies include a $50 million food supplier company; a $24 million IT staffing and consulting company; and LCS.