MANATEE COUNTY — A private equity firm with a focus on middle market companies acquired Progressive Employer Management Co., one of the largest employee leasing firms in the region.
Progressive's new owner is New York City-based Tenex Capital Management, according to a release. Terms of the deal, which closed Sept. 1, weren't disclosed. Progressive has offices statewide, and is based out of a facility in southern Manatee County.
“I am extremely excited to announce the news of our transaction with Tenex,” says PEMCO President and CEO Clinton Burgess. “We have further fortified our position as an industry leader and a company poised for growth.”
Progressive, with $74 million in revenues in 2013, handles payroll, workers' compensation, employee benefits and human resource services for a variety of businesses, mostly companies with five to 25 employees. Sarasota-area insurance entrepreneur Steve Herrig founded the company in 1999 in Clearwater. It was originally named Progressive Employer Services.
The firm's current majority owners, West Palm Beach-based Palm Beach Capital, first invested in Progressive in 2004 and have since added to its stake multiple times, according to a 2014 Business Observer story. And the past few years have seen a jolt in private equity money coming into the employee leasing industry. “Private equity looks at our industry as great cash flow,” longtime employee leasing executive Vince DiPalermo, who co-founded Palmetto-based Remedy Employer Services in 2009, told the Business Observer in that 2014 story. “It's been hot for a while.”
Tenex invests in a variety of companies, including building materials and medical device firms.