An agreement has been made for KPS Capital Partners, a New York private-equity firm, to buy the Waupaca foundry unit from auto supplier ThyssenKrupp AG. It’s expected that the sale will be finalized in the second quarter. Waupaca Foundry Inc. would then be the new name of ThyssenKrupp Waupaca. The terms of the deal were not announced.
ThyssenKrupp Waupaca, the largest independent iron foundry in the world, makes gray and ductile iron castings for the auto and commercial truck industries and other producers. It owns three facilities located in Waupaca, Wis., and in Marinette, Wis. It has other plants in Tell City, Ind., and Etowah, Tenn., with a workforce of around 3,500 employees.
In the last fiscal year, it reported sales of $1.48 billion. In a statement, ThyssenKrupp Waupaca CEO Gary Gigante said that KPS was picked out as a buyer since it will permit the foundry to continue its business without being interfered with. Gigante said that the company wanted the next owner of Waupaca to be as committed to its future as it was. It also hoped that right after the deal is finalized, it would be “business as usual” for its workers and customers.
He said that he believes that this goal can be achieved. According to David Shapiro, a managing partner at KPS, Gigante will stay as the CEO of Waupaca. Shapiro said that KPS intends to expand the iron foundry to regions where its customer base is growing. Shapiro said that Waupaca’s future growth would be founded on its combined “unique strengths” and KPS’s financial resources, citing organic means as well as acquisitions in North America and elsewhere.