Stratus Acquires Chicago-Based MLE

Combined Company Enhances Stratus’ Position as the Leading National Brand Implementation Services Firm for the Nation’s Leading Companies

Cleveland, OH – September 28, 2021 – Stratus, a leading facilities services and brand implementation services firm, today announced the acquisition of Chicago area-based MLE Brand Services, creating a $325+ million company with nearly 850 employees throughout the United States. The newly combined Stratus and MLE facilities service offerings cover the full brand lifecycle, including interior and exterior signage, refresh and remodel construction, repair and maintenance, and energy services. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Stratus, founded in 1931, has tripled its revenue since 2017 through strategic growth initiatives with its long-term customers in the retail, healthcare, financial, restaurant, hospitality, and convenience-store sectors, as well as through multiple acquisitions. The Stratus client roster includes blue-chip brands like Chase, CVS, Lowe’s, McDonald’s, Target, The Home Depot, and Walgreens. MLE’s reputation, expertise and production capabilities in interior branding, brand installation, and brand rollout warehousing and logistics significantly enhances Stratus’ brand implementation services portfolio, while further expanding its multi-solution facilities services offering.

“MLE and Stratus both have stellar reputations for service, quality, and brand partnership, so this acquisition is a natural next step,” noted Tim Eippert, CEO, Stratus. “Our capabilities are highly complementary, and by joining forces we’ll be able to provide a more holistic offering to our combined client base.”

MLE was founded in 2002 by Mike Loftus, who grew the company to over 130 employees in the Chicago area by building strong relationships with blue-chip customers. The MLE management team will remain intact, and Mr. Loftus will join the Stratus Executive Leadership Team led by Mr. Eippert, effective immediately. “Together, Stratus and MLE will provide superior and seamless end-to-end in-house service offerings, with our clients at the center of everything we do,” said Mr. Loftus.

Headquartered in Mentor, Ohio, Stratus has operations centers in Illinois, Ohio, Florida and New Jersey, and manufacturing facilities in Illinois and South Carolina. Stratus is a portfolio company of Vestar Capital Partners.

About Stratus

Stratus is a leading brand implementation and facilities services company offering signage solutions, energy services, repair and maintenance programs, and refresh and remodel capabilities across 50 states and 24 countries. With more than 50,000 projects completed annually, the Company provides versatile solutions for some of the world’s largest and most recognized brands. For more information, please visit

About Vestar Capital Partners

Vestar Capital Partners is a leading U.S. middle-market private equity firm specializing in management buyouts and growth capital investments. Vestar invests and collaborates with incumbent management teams and private owners to build long-term enterprise value, with a focus on Business & Technology Services, Consumer, and Healthcare. Since its founding in 1988, Vestar funds have invested $8 billion in 85 companies – as well as more than 200 add-on acquisitions – with a total value of over $50 billion. For more information on Vestar, please visit

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