Amherst Partners acted as the exclusive financial advisor to Empire Die Casting Co. in its recent Section 363 sale to American Light Metals, a new company formed by SRS Industries, a privately held investment company, to specifically acquire the assets of Empire.
Empire is a precision die caster of a range of aluminum and zinc components including engine covers, pump housings and motor counter-weights for the HVAC and automotive markets. In addition to die casting, Empire performs value-added secondary operations including CNC machining, vibratory and shot-blast de-burring, sanding, polishing and chromating. The company is headquartered in Macedonia, OH (www.empiredie.com).
Amherst provides middle-market companies with financial advisory expertise for business restructurings, divestitures, acquisitions and corporate finance transactions. Founded in 1994, Amherst Partners has offices in Birmingham and Ann Arbor, MI; and Chicago (www.amherstpartners.com).
Empire engaged Amherst as its Chief Restructuring Officer and interim Chief Financial Officer to assist in developing, evaluating and implementing strategic options related to restructuring the company. Amherst constructed a three-pronged project plan: (a) assist in managing Empire and overseeing its turnaround efforts; (b) manage a timely and value-maximizing sale of the company to a qualified buyer with the capital and operational resources to effect the turnaround; and (c) coordinate with the Empire’s senior secured lender to maintain support for the process.
As a result of Amherst’s efforts, the sale of Empire to American Light Metals, which was financed by Comvest Partners, repaid the company’s secured lender in full and the auction process yielded significant incremental funds above the initial stalking horse offer made by SRS. This allowed for a meaningful distribution to be made to the unsecured creditors of Empire.
SRS Industries is a privately held investment company founded by Yogen Rahangdale, the former President and Chief Operating Officer of American Axle & Manufacturing. The firm invests primarily in the industrial and automotive industries. In 2010, SRS completed the asset acquisition of Whitehall Industries, a manufacturer of aluminum extrusions based in Ludington, MI (www.whitehallindustries.com).
© 2014 PEPD • Private Equity’s Leading News Magazine • 1-24-14