For all the negative press private equity gets in the mainstream media, the majority of deals end up successful to varying degrees, making money for GPs and LPs and producing stronger companies with more efficient systems, new products and expanded markets.
It’s with great pleasure, then, that I announce our Deal of the Year winners for 2015. Every one of them highlights the hard work and value that private equity brings to companies that make things that touch us in our daily lives:
- Deal of the Year/Large Market Deal of Year: KPS Partners for Waupaca Foundry, a maker of iron castings that are used to fabricate parts for cars and industrial machines.
- Small Market Deal of Year: High Road Capital Partners for Handi Quilter, a producer of quilting machines.
- Middle Market Deal of Year: Kinderhook Industries for Tectum Holdings, a manufacturer of bed covers and bed liners for pickup trucks.
- European Deal of Year: The Carlyle Group for Sermeta, a maker of of stainless steel heat exchangers used in domestic and commercial boilers.
Why did these companies win? Performance, of course, played a big part in our selection. But we also looked at other factors. Waupaca, for example, grew and thrived even as the automotive sector declined. Tectum Holdings displayed brilliant resiliency after almost becoming another victim of the downturn in the auto sector. Sermeta created new products while simplfying its manufacturing processes, and Handi Quilter worked to become the premier player in its market space, the largely untapped quilting market.
This year’s crop of winners is a great reminder that there are still a lot of companies in this country that make things – and private equity is in good position to keep them strong, healthy and growing. So sit back, crack open a brew and read on.