KPS Capital Partners delivers a little CPR to struggling businesses. The firm manages the KPS Special Situations Funds, which are invested in troubled companies with annual revenues of at least $250 million in the manufacturing, transportation, and service industries. Specializing in restructurings and turnarounds, it is a hands-on investor, taking controlling stakes in its portfolio companies, working with management, and providing oversight and advice. KPS, which usually invests $25 million to $200 million per transaction, has some $2.7 billion of committed capital. Investors in its funds include pension funds, financial corporations, and trusts.
KPS's Chassis Brakes International Group is expanding its business. In late 2012 the portfolio company acquired Australian-based Autocast and Forge Pty Ltd. (ACF). Through ACF's voluntary administration process, Chassis Brakes was able to purchase the company's assets free and clear of substantially all liens, claims, and encumbrances. In 2012 KPS also bought iron foundry Waupaca Foundry from ThyssenKrupp. It also acquired the automotive brake manufacturing business of Bosch and divested its interest in Bristol Compressors International.
KPS Capital Partners formed International Equipment Solutions in 2011 and used the firm as a platform to acquire two manufacturing companies: Paladin, a provider of engineered attachment tools; and Crenlo, a maker of steel cabs and roll-over protection structures. Also that year, KPS Capital bought American & Efird, a manufacturer of industrial threads and textiles, from Ruddick Corporation. The company realized its turnaround investment in Attends Healthcare by selling the unit to paper manufacturing firm Domtar Corporation for some $315 million.
KPS completed a controlling investment in Motor Coach Industries in 2010 and participated in recapitalizations of Global Brass and Copper and forged parts manufacturer HHI Holdings. In 2009 the firm acquired luxury crystal and china maker Waterford Wedgwood, which had filed for administration. It continued its tableware buying spree that year by snatching up another bankrupt firm, Lenox.
From the tabletop to the beer bar, KPS also focused investments in 2009 on the beverage business. It formed North American Breweries to buy Labatt USA from Anheuser-Busch InBev. It also acquired licenses for Seagram's coolers from Pernod Ricard USA. The following year, North American Breweries added Independent Brewers United, owner of the Pyramid, Magic Hat, and MacTarnahan breweries. The deals are part of the KPS's plan to grow its beverage business both organically and through acquisitions. – less