Freeman Spogli Acquires Kamps

Freeman Spogli & Company has acquired a majority equity interest in Kamps, one of the largest pallet management service providers in North America.

Kamps provides nationwide pallet management services through a network of 25 company-owned and operated facilities and commercial partnerships with more than 60 national pallet partners. The company’s services include acquisition, disposition, sorting, repair and return of pallets as well as the management of a customer’s pallet inventory within its network of facilities.

Kamps manages over 100 million pallets annually and serves over 1,800 customers that are active in the e-commerce, retail, food & beverage, industrial, logistics and distribution industries.

Kamps is headquartered in Grand Rapids, Michigan and was founded in 1973 by CEO Bernie Kamps. Mr. Kamps will continue to lead the company and remains a significant shareholder in partnership with Freeman Spogli. Other members of the company’s management team, including President Mitchell Kamps, Chief Corporate Officer Brad Rietema, Vice President of Northern Operations Justin Kamps (son of the founder) and Chief Financial Officer Phil Minster, also participated in this transaction.

“We are thrilled to partner with Freeman Spogli, whose extensive expertise in the value-added distribution sector will be an invaluable resource to the company as we continue to pursue strategic initiatives in new and existing markets and capitalize on our multiple growth opportunities,” said Mr. Kamps.

“We are excited to announce our partnership with Kamps, whose best-in-class service and high-quality operations have contributed to the company’s remarkable success over the last 46 years,” said Jon Ralph, a partner at Freeman Spogli. “The Kamps family has successfully grown the company from a small regional operation to a recognized national competitor in the pallet management sector.  We look forward to partnering with them and their exceptional management team during this next phase of the company’s growth.”

Freeman Spogli invests from $75 million to $300 million of capital per investment in North American-based middle-market consumer and distribution companies that are valued from $100 million to $750 million. Typical target companies will have EBITDA from $10 million to $75 million.

In September 2019, Freeman Spogli closed its latest fund, FS Equity Partners VIII LP, at its hard cap of $1.85 billion. Earlier this month, Freeman Spogli acquired Easy Ice, an outsourced provider of commercial ice machines and offers a national subscription service that includes installation, cleaning, preventive maintenance, repairs, backup ice, and peak demand ice. Easy Ice services more than 25,000 ice makers across 47 states.

Lincoln International was the financial advisor to Kamps. Debt financing for the acquisition was provided by Oaktree Capital Management, Adams Street Partners, and Comerica.

Freeman Spogli was founded in 1983 and has offices in Los Angeles and New York City.

© 2020 Private Equity Professional | January 16, 2020

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