Press Releases

KPS Special Situations Fund II Completes Acquisition Of Jernberg Industries Inc., Iron Mountain Industries LLC And Related Entities Out Of Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

Sep 08, 2005

Announces Formation of Hephaestus Holdings, Inc.

New York, NY (September 8, 2005) -- KPS Special Situations Fund II (“KPS”) announced today that it has completed the acquisition of substantially all of the assets of Jernberg Industries, Inc., Iron Mountain Industries, LLC and related entities (collectively, “Jernberg”). KPS acquired the assets through a newly formed company, Hephaestus Holdings, Inc. (“HHI”). The transaction was accomplished pursuant to a 363 sale of assets under Chapter 11 of the bankruptcy code.

HHI is now one of North America’s leading manufacturers of highly engineered forged parts for various power-train and wheel-end applications in the automotive industry. Products manufactured by HHI include wheel hubs, transmission turbine hubs, and axle ring and pinion gears. With over 800 employees, HHI operates four manufacturing facilities located in Chicago, Illinois.

KPS has retained Mr. George Thanopoulos, an executive with over twenty years of automotive experience, to lead HHI as its new Chief Executive Officer.

KPS invested $23 million of equity capital into HHI to fund the Company’s turnaround plan and working capital. In addition, KPS provided HHI with $8 million of Interim Financing to fund the purchase of certain new manufacturing equipment. To complete the transaction in a very limited time period, KPS successfully negotiated over thirty unique agreements with the Company’s customers, vendors, lenders and lessors; including three collective bargaining agreements with the United Steelworkers of America and a new $37 million senior lending facility with LaSalle Bank, N.A.

George Thanopoulos, Chief Executive Officer of HHI, said, “Our objective is to build the premier supplier of automotive forgings in North America. We thank the Company’s customers, vendors and employees for their support through a difficult period. Our new Company looks forward to providing our customers with world class products and superior customer service. KPS has provided HHI with the resources for success and long term growth. I am very confident that by leveraging the skill, creativity and talent of our workforce, HHI will achieve its full potential.”

Michael Psaros, a Managing Principal of KPS said, “We look forward to working with George Thanopoulos and the employees of HHI to create one of the world’s leading automotive forging companies. We intend to aggressively build HHI through both organic growth and acquisitions. Acquiring and turning around Jernberg’s business is an important first step in this process. The long term commitments made by the Company’s valued customers made all of this possible. We thank the United Steelworkers of America for its support in connection with this complex transaction and LaSalle Bank and Conway MacKenzie & Dunleavy for their contribution to the process.”

About KPS Capital Partners

KPS, through its affiliated management entities, is the manager of the KPS Special Situations Funds, a family of investment funds with approximately $13.4 billion of assets under management (as of March 31, 2022).  For nearly three decades, the Partners of KPS have worked exclusively to realize significant capital appreciation by making controlling equity investments in manufacturing and industrial companies across a diverse array of industries, including basic materials, branded consumer, healthcare and luxury products, automotive parts, capital equipment and general manufacturing.  KPS creates value for its investors by working constructively with talented management teams to make businesses better, and generates investment returns by structurally improving the strategic position, competitiveness and profitability of its portfolio companies, rather than primarily relying on financial leverage. The KPS Funds’ portfolio companies generate aggregate annual revenues of approximately $19.7 billion, operate 233 manufacturing facilities in 27 countries, and have approximately 52,000 employees, directly and through joint ventures worldwide (as of March 31, 2022, pro forma for recent acquisitions and exits). The KPS investment strategy and portfolio companies are described in detail at www.kpsfund.com.

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