Deal of the Year, Large Market/Overall, 2015: KPS Capital Partners

  • Company: Waupauca Foundry
  • Lenders: GE Capital Markets Inc, RBC Capital Markets and Wells Fargo Capital Finance
  • Legal adviser: Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP
  • Financial adviser: Perella Weinberg Partners
  • Deal generated 5x return, gross IRR of 165 pct
  • Sold business to Hitachi Metals for 6.5x EBITDA
  • EBITDA increased by 45 pct to $220 mln in about 29 months
  • Total employment increased by 389 people to 3,838

When KPS Capital Partners looked at a potential buyout of Waupaca Foundry in 2011, the U.S. automotive sector remained in the early stages of a recovery and credit availability on such deals was constrained.

Based on its experience in industrial turnarounds, KPS recognized value in the unit of German conglomerate ThyssenKrupp. Moving quickly, it developed a strategy to sharply increase EBITDA. “Our view was, ‘Wow, this is an opportunity; look at the market share; ...

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