KPS Capital Partners has agreed to sell iron foundry Waupaca Foundry, Inc. to Hitachi Metals for $1.3 billion in cash. The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter and is subject to regulatory approvals.
KPS Capital Partners, LP (“KPS”) announced today that it signed a definitive agreement, through an affiliate, to sell its portfolio company Waupaca Foundry, Inc. (“Waupaca” or the “Company”) to Hitachi Metals, Ltd. (“Hitachi Metals”, TSE: 5486) for $1.3 billion in cash.
Waupaca is the largest iron foundry company in the world, producing gray and ductile iron castings using state-of-the-art technology. The Company is North America’s leading supplier of iron castings to the automotive, commercial vehicle, agriculture, construction and industrial markets.
David Shapiro, a Managing Partner of KPS, stated, “The success of our investment in Waupaca demonstrates KPS’ ability to see value where others do not, to buy right and to make businesses better. In 2012, we recognized the transformation of the North American iron foundry market and the unrivaled importance of Waupaca to its customers and the end markets that it serves. The sale of Waupaca to Hitachi Metals, a leading multinational corporation, is a great outcome for our investors, Waupaca, its management, employees and customers.
“KPS worked with management to improve every aspect of Waupaca’s business, resulting in profitability increasing by more than 40% in just over two years. The investment return generated for our investors in the Waupaca transaction is further validation of the KPS investment strategy, which we have successfully executed over many years and across numerous economic cycles. We are very proud to have had the opportunity to partner with Gary Gigante, his management team and all the dedicated employees of Waupaca. The material value created for our investors since 2012 is the result of their collective effort, for which we are very grateful. We are confident that Waupaca will continue to grow and prosper in the future as part of Hitachi Metals,” Mr. Shapiro concluded.
Gary Gigante, Chief Executive Officer of Waupaca, added, “KPS recognized the potential of our business two years ago. Working in partnership with KPS, we invested significantly in our operations and people, which included an expansion of our production capacity and launching numerous continuous improvement initiatives across all six of our foundries. We are very grateful to KPS for its leadership and its commitment to improving and growing our business. We are thrilled to join Hitachi Metals, which has the resources, foundry experience, access to capital and global reach that will enable Waupaca to achieve an even higher level of success.”
Completion of the transaction, which is expected during the fourth quarter, is subject to customary closing conditions.
Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP and Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC served as legal counsel and financial advisor, respectively, to KPS and Waupaca with respect to the transaction.
About Waupaca Foundry, Inc.
Waupaca Foundry, Inc., the largest iron foundry company in the world, produces ductile iron and gray iron castings using state-of-the-art technology. Waupaca is North America’s leading supplier of iron castings to the automotive, commercial vehicle, agriculture, construction, and industrial markets. Headquartered in Waupaca, Wisconsin, the iron metal caster operates six manufacturing facilities, located in Waupaca, Wisconsin (3 individual sites), Marinette, Wisconsin, Tell City, Indiana, and Etowah, Tennessee. Waupaca employs approximately 3,900 people. For more information, visit www.waupacafoundry.com.
About KPS Capital Partners, LP
KPS is the manager of the KPS Special Situations Funds, a family of investment funds with over $6.1 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 $8.1 billion, operate 109 manufacturing facilities in 26 countries, and employ over 51,000 associates, directly and through joint ventures worldwide. The KPS investment strategy and portfolio companies are described in detail at www.kpsfund.com.