KPS-backed American & Efird Global to buy Gutermann

American & Efird Global, a portfolio company of KPS Capital Partners, said Monday that it will buy “substantially” all of Gutermann‘s global industrial and consumer thread business. No financial terms were disclosed for the transaction, which is expected to be completed on June 30. Based in Gutach, Germany, Gutermann is a maker of sewing thread products for consumer and industrial applications

PRESS RELEASE
NEW YORK, June 16, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — KPS Capital Partners, LP (“KPS”) announced today that its portfolio company American & Efird Global, L.P. (“A&E”) will acquire substantially all of Gutermann Holding SE’s global industrial and consumer thread business (“Gutermann”). The transaction was approved by the stockholders of Gutermann on June 14, 2014, but is still subject to customary closing conditions. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
A&E is the largest U.S. manufacturer and the world’s second-largest manufacturer and distributor of premium quality industrial and consumer sewing thread, embroidery thread and technical textiles. A&E thread is used by producers of apparel, automotive components, home furnishings, medical supplies, footwear and certain industrial products. A&E owns or operates 22 manufacturing facilities and employs over 9,000 associates around the world directly or in partnership with joint venture partners. KPS acquired A&E from Harris Teeter Supermarkets, Inc. (now a subsidiary of The Kroger Co.) in November 2011.
Founded in 1864 and headquartered in Gutach, Germany, Gutermann is a leading European manufacturer and distributor of premium, high-quality sewing thread products for consumer and industrial applications. Gutermann’s products serve a variety of end-markets, including apparel, shoes, leather goods, work wear, home textiles and automotive end markets. Gutermann has a highly regarded brand name globally and a strong reputation among leading European apparel and non-apparel brands. Gutermann owns and operates four manufacturing facilities located in Germany, Spain, Mexico and India, and employs approximately 1,000 associates around the world.
Michael Psaros, a Managing Partner of KPS, said, “The transformation of A&E under KPS’ ownership is remarkable. A&E has exceeded all of our expectations for growth on a global scale by successfully expanding into adjacent geographies, products and end-markets. The strategic and industrial logic of A&E acquiring Gutermann is extraordinarily compelling as it will even further advance A&E’s industry-leading quality, customer service and innovation, delivered through an integrated and truly global manufacturing footprint. A&E’s conservative capital structure, absence of large unfunded pensions and other legacy obligations, coupled with its access to KPS’ material capital resources, positions the company to grow aggressively organically and through acquisition.”
Fred Jackson, Chief Executive Officer of A&E, said, “The acquisition of Gutermann is a critical strategic step in the growth of A&E. We are very impressed with Gutermann’s diverse product portfolio, customer base, premium quality and technical capabilities. Gutermann’s strong market position in Europe coupled with A&E’s worldwide manufacturing and distribution footprint and strong brand recognition in North America and Asia is an ideal combination. This acquisition furthers our commitment to support our customers globally with high-quality localized supply, technical resources, customer service support, and the highest environmental and social responsibility. A&E has made tremendous progress under KPS ownership and, with the strategic addition of Gutermann, I believe our future is even brighter.”
Completion of the transaction is expected on June 30, 2014 and is subject to customary closing conditions.
Hengeler Mueller is serving as legal counsel to KPS and A&E. Financing for the transaction will be provided by a syndicate of banks led by Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith, Inc., along with Wells Fargo Securities, LLC, and PNC Capital Markets LLC acting as Joint Lead Arrangers.
About American & Efird
A&E is the largest U.S. manufacturer and the world’s second-largest manufacturer and distributor of premium quality industrial and consumer sewing thread, embroidery thread and technical textiles. Producers of apparel, automotive components, home furnishings, medical supplies, footwear and a diverse range of industrial products rely on A&E industrial sewing thread to manufacture their products. Customers select A&E as the preferred choice for industrial sewing thread, embroidery thread and technical textiles because of A&E’s dedication to providing its customers with the finest products and services, at the highest quality, delivered globally. Through its global network, A&E’s products are manufactured in 20 countries, distributed in 44 countries and sold in over 95 countries. In addition to A&E’s steadfast commitment to superior quality and customer service, A&E is a recognized industry leader in environmental sustainability and corporate social responsibility, and operates its global facilities with the utmost regard for the safety and health of its associates employed worldwide. A&E owns or operates 22 manufacturing facilities and employs over 9,000 associates around the world directly or in partnership with joint venture partners. For more information, please visit www.amefird.com.
About Gutermann
Founded in 1864 and headquartered in Gutach, Germany, Gutermann is a leading European manufacturer and distributor of premium, high-quality sewing thread products for consumer and industrial applications. Gutermann’s products serve a variety of end-markets, including apparel, shoes, leather goods, work wear, home textiles and automotive end markets. Gutermann has a highly regarded brand name globally and a strong reputation among leading European apparel and non-apparel brands. Gutermann owns and operates four manufacturing facilities located in Germany, Spain, Mexico and India, and employs approximately 1,000 associates around the world. For more information, please visit www.guetermann.com.
About KPS Capital Partners, LP
KPS is the manager of the KPS Special Situations Funds, a family of investment funds with over $5.9 billion of assets under management. KPS seeks to realize significant capital appreciation by making controlling equity investments in companies across a diverse range of manufacturing industries experiencing a period of transition or challenged by the need to effect immediate and significant change. KPS creates value for its investors by seeing value where others do not, buying right and making businesses better. The KPS investment strategy is based primarily upon partnering with world-class management teams to effect material and sustainable improvements in the operations of its businesses. Thereafter, KPS focuses on growing its businesses, both organically and through strategic acquisitions. KPS portfolio companies have aggregate annual revenues of approximately $7.6 billion, operate 99 manufacturing facilities in 26 countries, and employ over 47,000 associates, directly and through joint ventures worldwide. The KPS investment strategy and portfolio companies are described in detail at www.kpsfund.com.

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