Centric Financial Corp. acquired for $139.9 million

Centric Financial Corp. and its banking subsidiary Centric Bank moved into a new operations center in Hampden Township, Cumberland County late last year – PHOTO/PROVIDED 

First Commonwealth Financial Corp. completed its previously announced acquisition of Centric Financial Corp., the parent company of Harrisburg-based Centric Bank.

The final purchase price was $139.9 million at the time of closing, according to First Commonwealth.

With the merger, First Commonwealth’s board of directors has appointed former President and CEO of Centric Patricia A. Husic, as a board member. She will also stay on as a consultant for the next six months for a consulting fee of $100,000.

“We are pleased to announce the completion of the merger with Centric and are excited to build upon the terrific relationships that Centric has developed over the years,” First Commonwealth President and CEO T. Michael Price said in a release.

Centric Bank customers will be able to access First Commonwealth’s network of 55,000 surcharge-free ATMs worldwide, as well as 126 retail offices across Pennsylvania and Ohio.

They will also have access to mortgage and personal loans, wealth management and insurance, and enhanced online banking, BillPay, mobile banking and mobile payment solutions.

Commercial customers will have access to a full line of cash management services and a set of payment processing options to help manage credit and debit card transaction processing.

“This combination expands our presence into the attractive Pennsylvania markets in and around Harrisburg, Lancaster, Devon and Doylestown,” said Price. “Centric is well-respected within these communities with proven leadership. Our mission is to improve the financial lives of our neighbors and their businesses and we look forward to carrying out this mission with our new Centric teammates for many years to come.”

Paula Wolf is a freelance writer

Harrisburg marketing agency merges with Milwaukee-based firm

Harrisburg-based marketing agency Merit has merged with Falk Group Public Relations, which is headquartered in Milwaukee, effective Jan. 23.

A release described Merit as “an industry leader in market invention with a focus on challenger brands.”

The newly merged agency expands combined agency resources for Falk and Merit’s current clients and grows Merit’s Milwaukee operations and its national footprint. Falk Group Founder and President Susie Falk will lead Merit’s public relations team as director.

Merit also has key staff hailing from Washington, D.C., Boston, Cincinnati and Milwaukee, and is known for identifying untapped market communities and belief systems to shape new markets, known as market invention. Merit’s services include brand launches, pivots for challengers, omni-channel creative development, primary and secondary research, and business strategy for funded start-ups and mergers and acquisitions clients.

The merger with Falk Group expands Merit’s portfolio of services to include media relations, influencer marketing, brand journalism, cause and advocacy marketing, investor relations, crisis communications and event planning.

Adam Vasquez, founder and CEO of Merit, said: “Susie Falk and her agency’s highly effective PR strategy and execution will serve our clients – current and future — extremely well. Public relations that connects the market community such as industry influences, media, academia, consumers, etc., is a critical piece of market invention. The Falk Group has a reputation for trust and professionalism. We are excited for the future of our agency and how the merger will add value for our collective clients.”

Paula Wolf is freelance writer

Energy Plus Inc. sold to Florida company

Harrisburg-based Energy Plus Inc. and its family of companies have been acquired by Medical Technology Associates LLC.

A release said Energy Plus “is a recognized leader in controlled environments with an extensive portfolio of services including clean air testing, certification, calibration, refrigeration, decontamination and training.”

It offers complete care of scientific equipment and facilities to customers in the biomedical, health care, pharmaceutical, manufacturing, aerospace and engineering industries.

Energy Plus’ strong presence in the Eastern U.S., “deep knowledge of the industry and extensive range of services strengthens MTA’s capabilities” nationwide, the release noted.

MTA provides a broad spectrum of medical gas services and equipment, environmental monitoring and clean room/hood services to health care facilities, pharmacies, laboratories and mechanical engineers across the U.S. and throughout the Caribbean.

“We believe that by combining our talents and resources with MTA, we will both be able to make a stronger impact on leading this industry, and our business expansion will continue to flourish,” said Michael Geppert Jr., the second-generation owner/operator of Energy Plus.

Val Marks, CEO of Pinellas Park, Florida-based MTA, added: “Michael and his team have grown an exceptional business focused on quality and service excellence in this industry. We are honored and excited to have the Energy Plus family of companies join the MTA family of companies.”

Energy Plus will expand MTA’s geographic and industry presence as well as enabling new service offerings such as calibration and refrigeration. And leveraging MTA’s infrastructure, Energy Plus will now have access to a robust and flexible software platform benefiting employees and customers.

Paula Wolf is a freelance writer

Pennsylvania American Water to buy wastewater system for $28M

Mechanicsburg-based Pennsylvania American Water, a subsidiary of American Water, announced Wednesday that it has signed an agreement with Elizabeth Borough Municipal Authority in Allegheny County to purchase its wastewater system assets for $28 million.

The system serves approximately 2,200 customers within Elizabeth borough, Elizabeth Township, Forward Township and portions of Lincoln borough.

Pennsylvania American Water and the Elizabeth Borough Municipal Authority Board will seek necessary regulatory approvals of the acquisition. The transaction is expected to close by the end of 2023 or early 2024.

The authority issued a request for bids in November 2021 for the potential sale of its wastewater system, citing that proceeds would be invested and used to fund other township capital improvement projects.

Upon ownership, Pennsylvania American Water plans to invest approximately $20.4 million by 2028 to meet regulatory requirements, make improvements to address inflow and infiltration, add new technology and control systems, and improve safety and security.

The authority’s wastewater rates at the time of closing will be adopted by the new owners.

“Pennsylvania American Water has been providing safe drinking water to area residents for decades, and we are excited to be selected as the future wastewater provider to these Mon Valley communities,” said Pennsylvania American Water President Justin Ladner said in a release. “We look forward to adding these customers to the more than 96,000 households and businesses across the commonwealth that already rely on Pennsylvania American Water to expertly operate, manage and invest in their wastewater systems.”

Paula Wolf is a freelance writer

PAM Health to construct rehab hospital near Tampa

Enola-based PAM Health plans to build a 42-bed inpatient rehabilitation hospital in Wesley Chapel, Florida, it announced this week.

North of Tampa, Wesley Chapel is one of the fastest growing cities in the nation. Construction on the 60,000-square-foot, two-story hospital will begin early this year. The hospital will start serving patients in early 2024 and employ approximately 120 when completed.

PAM Health Rehabilitation Hospital of Wesley Chapel will offer inpatient and outpatient care and feature a medical team focused on increasing patient strength and endurance and improving quality of life for patients who have experienced stroke, brain injury, neurological disease and deficits, amputations, pulmonary disease, orthopedic conditions, spinal cord injury and medically complex conditions.

The company also operates PAM Health Specialty Hospital of Sarasota and PAM Health Specialty Hospital of Jacksonville, long-term acute care hospitals serving critically ill patients with complex medical conditions. In addition, PAM Health Rehabilitation Hospital of Tavares will open in this month, and PAM Health Rehabilitation Hospital of Jupiter will open in the spring.

“We continue to expand our services throughout Florida as we identify the need for the type of high-quality, patient-focused care that PAM Health is known for,” Anthony Misitano, founder, chairman and CEO of PAM Health said in a release. “… We look forward to offering a new level of rehabilitation care to patients in the greater Tampa region with our goal always being to help them achieve optimal outcomes.”

PAM Health provides specialty health care services through more than 70 long-term acute care hospitals and physical medicine and rehabilitation hospitals, as well as wound clinics and outpatient physical therapy locations, in 17 states.

Paula Wolf is a freelance writer

Lancaster Tank & Truck Wash bought by Florida company

Lancaster Tank & Truck Wash was recently acquired by Tampa-based Quala, an independent provider of comprehensive cleaning, test and repair services for tank trailers, International Standard Organization containers, intermediate bulk containers, and railcars.

With the purchase of the business at 798 Flory Mill Road, Quala expands its food grade and chemical cleaning capacity servicing the Northeast, a release said. “This facility offers quick and efficient tank cleaning with the food grade certifications that customers require.”

According to its website, Lancaster Tank & Truck Wash was founded in 1987 and specializes in interior tank cleaning. “We offer unparalleled customer service for many of the largest food and non-food manufacturers in the United States and Canada,” as one of the premier tank washes in the Northeast.

Lancaster Tank & Truck Wash, with a workforce of 12, also offers truck washing and decal removal.

Quala’s chief operating officer, Erik Leto, said in the release: “Adding Lancaster Tank Wash to our network further demonstrates our commitment to the food grade market and expands our ability to service customers transporting food-related products along the East Coast.”

Founded in 1986, Quala began independent operations in 2009 and today has 125-plus locations providing total tank solutions to the most active bulk transportation routes and eight of North America’s busiest ports.

Paula Wolf is a freelance writer

Social enterprise entity LogosWorks expands into marketing

York-based LogosWorks Partners has acquired marketing services company Dave Becker Design, also of York, as of Jan. 1.

The marketing firm will rebrand as Pulsar Enterprise. Dave Becker will stay on as managing director of Pulsar, which will offer website development and integration, graphic design, ad services, marketing strategy and more to businesses and nonprofits.

LogosWorks is a social enterprise organization that buys and invests in companies with the goal of providing opportunities for underserved young people to help them achieve prosperous engagement in the next economy. Profits earned will support education and public safety initiatives.

Seeking to create trust and transparency between law enforcement and the communities they serve, LogosWorks provides leadership to the York County Safety Collab, a partnership between 17 police departments and the district attorney.

It continues to directly support student scholarships at Logos Academy, a private accredited K-12 school that provides a Christ-centered education to students, two-thirds of whom live in or near federal poverty.

“We see broad synergies with having Pulsar in our social enterprise structure,” Otto Monroy, president at LogosWorks Partners, said in a release. “Not only are we eager to be able to help clients succeed in their marketing efforts, but we also are excited about the opportunity to integrate our students, graduates and family members from Logos Academy strategically in this business with internship and employment opportunities. Our work in the public safety space also centers around creating positive public engagement between police departments and community members and Pulsar will be instrumental in that work.”

Paula Wolf is a freelance writer

Gannett Fleming Investment deal to help meet infrastructure demands 

Camp Hill-based Gannett Fleming said it received a strategic investment from a private equity firm to help it meet a growing demand for improved infrastructure. 

Gannett Fleming, an engineering and infrastructure solutions provider for the transportation, water, federal, power and energy markets, said the investment from New York-based OceanSound Partners will help it meet the backlog of work from government contracts. 

Gannett Fleming will continue to operate under the leadership of its existing management team, who will retain a significant ownership interest in the company. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. 

“Our rich 107-year history is built on solving complex infrastructure challenges with innovation, reliability, and excellence. The Gannett Fleming team is excited to continue this journey into our second century with OceanSound at our side,” said Bob Scaer, CEO of Gannett Fleming. “With record backlog and accelerating demand due to the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the Inflation Reduction Act, we are entering the OceanSound partnership from a position of strength.” 

Scaer said OceanSound has a proven track record of accelerating the growth of companies serving government agencies. 

“This partnership will help us attract and retain the best talent, make significant investments in emerging technologies, expand and deepen our geographic footprint, and support our employees so they remain at the top of their field.” he said. “Together with OceanSound, we expect to substantially increase our market share in our key service offerings while maintaining the time-tested culture and mission that our employees and clients value.” 

 Founded in 1915, Gannett Fleming employs over 2,800 engineers, scientists, technologists, and construction professionals charged with developing and maintaining sustainable and future-proof infrastructure. 

 “The need for sustainable infrastructure optimizing total lifecycle cost of ownership is becoming more urgent as climate change accelerates and decades of underinvestment in critical infrastructure accumulates,” said Joe Benavides, managing partner OceanSound. “Gannett Fleming has differentiated technology-enabled solutions spanning transportation, electrification, and water management that make them well-positioned to capitalize on growth of the infrastructure services market.” 

Benavides said, “We are confident that our approach to value creation can catalyze further growth at Gannett Fleming. Gannett Fleming is a storied franchise in the infrastructure consulting market, and we are thrilled to partner with its management and highly skilled employees to further enhance the company’s value proposition to its customers.” 

The transaction was unanimously approved by Gannett Fleming’s board of directors and existing employee stockholder base. Houlihan Lokey, Inc. acted as financial advisor and Holland & Knight LLP served as legal advisor to Gannett Fleming. Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP served as legal advisor to OceanSound.