KPS buys French metal abrasive maker Winoa, as cross-border deals pick up
KPS Capital Partners LP is acquiring steel abrasive manufacturer WHA Holding SAS (Winoa) from a group of investors. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Winoa is a global manufacturer of metal abrasives for the transportation, equipment, energy, and construction sectors. The target’s products serve as cleaning, cutting, peening and preparation materials for on-site metal surface work on large structures like bridges and offshore rigs. Le Cheylas, France-based Winoa has 11 manufacturing facilities located in France, Spain, Canada, South Korea, U.S., Japan, Slovenia, Brazil, Thailand, South Africa and Russia. The deal comes as the target intends to “pursue a range of growth initiatives,” according to Winoa CEO Pierre Escolier.
Based in New York, KPS is a private equity firm with approximately $5.5 billion in assets under management and looks to make control equity investments in specialty manufacturing companies. The firm also collaborates with major industrial and service unions to sponsor transactions. In November 2016, KPS sold bottle packaging company Anchor Glass Container Corp. to CVC Capital. The PE firm initially backed Anchor Glass in 2014, growing the target’s business with a 50 percent profit increase. Raquel Palmer, a partner at KPS, was recognized as one of The Most Influential Women in Mid-Market M&A.
Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP is serving as legal counsel to KPS, alongside Gide Loyrette Nouel. DC Advisory is acting as financial adviser to KPS. GSO Capital Partners LP will provide financing for the transaction.
The cross-border Winoa acquisition comes as investors are uncertain of the true impact Britain’s vote to exit the European Union will have on cross-border M&A. Despite the uncertainty, recent cross-border deals include: Crisis Prevention Institute’s, backed by private equity firm FFL Partners, acquisition of U.K.’s Pivotal Education Ltd.; Italy-based Ferrero International S.A.’s deal to buy chocolate manufacturer Fannie May Confections Brands from 1-800 Flowers.com Inc. (Nasdaq: FLWS); 21st Century Fox Inc.’s agreement to acquire Europe’s pay-TV company Sky Plc for $14.6 billion; and AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc.’s (NYSE: AMC) acquisition to expand with more movie theaters in Sweden.