Wabash National Buys PE-Backed Walker Group

Publicly traded Wabash National Corp. paid $360 million to buy Walker Group Holdings, a supplier of stainless steel products. Walker was a portfolio company of Insight Equity, a Texas-based private equity firm. The deal closed on May 8. Harris Williams & Co., a middle-market investment bank, served as advisor.


Harris Williams & Co., a preeminent middle market investment bank focused on the advisory needs of clients worldwide, announces the sale of Walker Group Holdings (Walker), a leading supplier of stainless steel products, to strategic buyer Wabash National® Corporation (Wabash; NYSE:WNC) for $360 million. Walker was a portfolio company of Insight Equity (Insight), a Dallas-Fort Worth, TX based private equity firm. Harris Williams & Co. acted as the exclusive advisor to Walker Group Holdings. The transaction closed on May 8th, 2012 and was led by John Arendale, John Neuner, Darwin Olympia and Matt McLain from the firm’s Richmond office.


“Insight and Walker’s management team have done a tremendous job building a leading, diversified liquid transportation trailer and engineered products platform. We believe that Wabash represents a strong strategic and cultural fit with Walker,” said John Neuner, a managing director at Harris Williams & Co.


“Strategic acquisitions can minimize the time and execution risk of diversifying a buyer’s footprint and product offering. Buying a synergistic business is a great place for corporations to be deploying their capital,” said John Arendale, a managing director at Harris Williams & Co.


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, business transformations, 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, intermodal equipment and products used in the environmental and energy services industries. Its innovative core products are sold under the DuraPlate®, ArcticLite®, FreightPro®, Eagle® and Benson® 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.