Level 3 co-founder O’Hara launches new firm in Boulder

BOULDER — Congruex, a company created in Boulder earlier this year by Level 3 Communications Inc. co-founder Kevin O’Hara and telecom veteran Bill Beans, has struck a partnership with a New York-based private-equity firm to acquire and grow engineering and construction companies focused on the communications services and utility sectors.

Financial details of the partnership were not disclosed.

Crestview Partners is committing up to $200 million of equity as part of what is expected to be a total investment of approximately $500 million. Beans and O’Hara will lead Congruex, with Beans serving as chief executive and O’Hara as executive chairman. O’Hara co-founded Level 3 in 1997 and left the company in 2008 to work with several companies in the telecom sector. Beans most recently was chairman and CEO of Tenacity Capital Ventures in Boulder.

Congruex’s strategy is to acquire and partner with providers of design, engineering, construction and maintenance services to the broadband network and utility industries.

“There are a host of growing engineering and construction companies to which Congruex can serve as a transformational partner,” O’Hara said in a prepared statement. “Bill and I have known each other for 30 years, and we have each spent our entire careers in the construction and communications services industries. We look forward to sharing our experience building and operating network services businesses with the high-quality management teams we are looking to bring into Congruex.”

O’Hara said the alliance with Crestview combines significant capital, deep operating experience and extensive industry relationships that are critical to helping the companies that join Congruex grow.

Beans said he and O’Hara were attracted to Crestview due to its “significant experience in the communications services space and history of partnering with management teams to grow businesses.”

Crestview Partners manages funds with more than $7 billion of capital commitments.