Wabash Buys PE-Backed Walker Group

Middle-market investment bank Harris Williams & Co. announced Wednesday the acquisition of Walker Group Holdings by publicly traded Wabash National Corp. Wabash paid $360 million for the company, a supplier of stainless steel products. Walker is a portfolio company of Insight Equity, a Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas based private equity firm. Harris Williams & Co. is acting as the exclusive advisor to Walker.



Harris Williams & Co., a preeminent middle market investment bank focused on the advisory needs of clients worldwide, announces that Walker Group Holdings (Walker), a leading supplier of stainless steel products, has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by strategic buyer Wabash National® Corporation (Wabash; NYSE:WNC) for $360 million. Walker is a portfolio company of Insight Equity (Insight), the Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas based private equity firm. Harris Williams & Co. is acting as the exclusive advisor to Walker Group Holdings.




“Insight and Walker’s management team have a done a tremendous job building a leading, diversified liquid transportation trailer and engineered products platform, and we are excited to be representing them in this transaction,” said John Neuner, a managing director at Harris Williams & Co.




“We believe that Wabash represents a strong strategic and cultural fit with Walker, and we look forward to watching the continued success of the combined organization,” added John Arendale, a managing director at Harris Williams & Co.




Ted Beneski, CEO and Managing Partner of Insight Equity remarked, “Wabash distinguished itself as the right buyer for Walker Group Holdings.  After owning this asset for 6 years, including multiple acquisitions and value creation initiatives, we have confidence Wabash will continue to keep the company on a very positive trajectory.”




Commenting on the transaction, Wabash National’s President and Chief Executive Officer, Richard Giromini said, “Consistent with our diversification strategy, we are very excited to join forces with Walker, a clear leader in a complementary and growing market.  The Company has a  leading  position in nearly every one of its product categories, well-known  brands, strong customer relationships that span over decades, and high margin products supported by industry leading innovation and low cost manufacturing. We are particularly pleased to be adding a deep and talented team under the leadership of Doug Chapple.  Our two companies share a strong cultural fit and we look forward to completion of the transaction to then begin to integrate best practices, leverage individual talents, and accelerate strategic growth initiatives across the combined entity.”




Headquartered in New Lisbon, WI, Walker is a leader in designing and manufacturing high-quality, stainless steel products for the dairy, chemical, food and beverage, aviation, personal care, pharmaceutical, sanitary, energy and nuclear industries.  Its innovative products are sold under the Walker Transport, Brenner Tank, Garsite, Progress Tank, Tri State Tank, Bulk Tank International, Walker Defense Group, Walker Barrier Systems, Walker Engineered Products and Extract Technology Ltd. brand names.




Insight makes controlling investments in strategically viable, middle market, asset intensive companies across a wide range of industries. Insight specializes in partnering with companies in complex and challenging situations, including corporate divestitures, bankruptcies, restructurings and private family ownership. The firm leverages a proven, collaborative, value-creation model to facilitate operating enhancements and growth.




Headquartered in Lafayette, IN, Wabash is one of the leading manufacturers of semi trailers in North America. Established in 1985, the company specializes in the design and production of dry freight vans, refrigerated vans, flatbed trailers, drop deck trailers, truck bodies and intermodal equipment. Its innovative core products are sold under the DuraPlate®, ArcticLite®, FreightProTM, Eagle® and BensonTM brand names. Wabash operates two wholly-owned subsidiaries, Transcraft® Corporation and Wabash National Trailer Centers, trailer service centers and retail distributors of new and used trailers and aftermarket parts throughout the U.S.




Harris Williams & Co. (www.harriswilliams.com), a member of The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. (NYSE:PNC), is a preeminent middle market investment bank focused on the advisory needs of clients worldwide. The firm has deep industry knowledge, global transaction expertise, and an unwavering commitment to excellence. Harris Williams & Co. provides sell-side and acquisition advisory, restructuring advisory, board advisory, private placements, and capital markets advisory services.




Investment banking services are provided by Harris Williams LLC, a registered broker-dealer and member of FINRA and SIPC, and Harris Williams & Co. Ltd, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority. Harris Williams & Co. is a trade name under which Harris Williams LLC and Harris Williams & Co. Ltd conduct business.