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Who Is KPS Capital Partners?

The week in glass got off to a roaring start with the announcement that the large, Dublin-based legacy building materials corporation CRH Plc sold its Oldcastle BuildingEnvelope business unit to the private equity firm KPS Capital Partners. KPS is based in New York and has offices in Germany and Netherlands.

Oldcastle had $337 million in earnings in 2020 before taxes and other liabilities, Bloomberg reported on Sunday, Feb. 27.

A firm across industries

KPS works with aerospace and defense, automotive, building materials, capital goods, chemicals, consumer products, food and beverage, general industrial products, healthcare products and medical devices, metals, and paper and packaging companies worth at least $1 billion. The firm touts its commitment to focusing on operational performance improvement, maintaining fewer holdings and having greater operational involvement than competitors that create short-term value purely through leveraged buyouts, according to the company's website.

More than $13 billion in assets

According to the company, as of Dec. 31, 2021 KPS held $13.1 billion in assets across nine companies, which generate approximately $15.2 billion in revenue and represent 165 manufacturing facilities with about 43,000 employees across 26 countries. KPS transactions include highly complex corporate "carve-outs" on a global scale, family and entrepreneur-owned businesses, private sales, acquisitions from former creditors, and restructurings, including structured bankruptcy and out-of-court change of control proceedings.

The firm also recently expanded into lower-middle market investments with the inception of their $6 billion Special Situations Fund V in Oct. 2019.

Some history in glass

Oldcastle BuildingEnvelope is only KPS’s most recent foray into the wider glass industry. They acquired AnchorGlass Container Corporation in 2014, selling it in 2016 to CVC Capital Partners and BA Glass for $1 billion in May 2016, according to a KPS announcement at the time of the sale.

Portfolio of companies

KPS’s current portfolio includes:

  • Autokiniton, metal formed components; acquired from family
  • AM General, light tactical vehicles; corporate acquisition
  • Briggs & Stratton, engines and outdoor power equipment; chapter 11 bankruptcy
  • C&D Technologies, industrial batteries; purchase from former creditor
  • Howden, air and gas handling; carve-out from Colfax Corporation
  • LifeFitness, fitness equipment; carve-out from Brunswick Corporation
  • Lukin, oil and gas equipment; carve-out from Baker Hughes
  • Speirs, aluminum rolled products; carve-out from Norsk Hydro ASA
  • EviOsys, metal food packaging carve-out form Crown Holdings

History and leadership

According to a KPS fact sheet, the equity firm began exclusively focused on North American companies, expanding to have an investor base representing 26 countries today. The firm was co-founded by Michael Psaros and David Shapiro in the early 90’s. Its current managing partners are Psaros, Shapiro, and Raquel Palmer. “This continuity creates and fosters a culture of a ‘family-owned’ firm that is grounded in the core values of KPS Partners, including integrity, veracity, and transparency," according KPS’s website.