Wynnchurch Continues Portfolio Build

Wynnchurch Capital has acquired the assets of Western Forge & Flange. The operations of Western will join with Pennsylvania Machine Works, which Wynnchurch acquired in February 2020, under a single platform.

Western Forge is a manufacturer of specialty forgings and flanges used in petrochemical, nuclear, military and industrial infrastructure applications. Many of the company’s standard and custom products are used in high pressure, corrosive, and subzero or elevated temperature environments. Western’s material capabilities include numerous alloys such as stainless steel, nickel, copper-nickel, aluminum, titanium and chromium-molybdenum.

Western was founded in 1944 in California and originally served the shipbuilding industry during World War II. In 2007, the company moved to its current headquarters near Houston in Cleveland, Texas.

“We are committed to providing our customers with the highest quality forging-solutions with quick turnaround times and industry-leading service, and we are excited to partner with Wynnchurch and Penn Machine as we continue that mission,” said Western’s CEO Walt Pierce. “We are excited about the opportunities available through partnering with Penn Machine to better serve our current customers and to accelerate our growth plan.”

Penn Machine’s products are used in the marine, oil and gas, nuclear power, petrochemical, shipbuilding, cryogenic and steel making industries. The company has capabilities in carbon and stainless steels, nickel alloys, chromium-molybdenum alloys, titanium, aluminum alloys, and copper-nickel.

The company operates through three divisions – Penn Machine, US Drop Forge and Penn Texas – and is headquartered near Philadelphia in Aston, Pennsylvania with a forging facility nearby in Swedesboro, New Jersey and a machine shop in Houston, Texas. Penn Machine was founded in 1931 by Charles Lafferty and today is led by President Joe Pro.

“We are very excited about partnering with Western to capitalize on the significant industry knowledge, expertise and resources of two leading specialty forging companies into one market-leading platform,” said Mr. Pro.

“Western and Penn Machine have both built strong reputations for providing customers with specialty forged products for the most demanding applications with industry-leading service levels. We look forward to partnering with Walt, Joe and their teams,” said Greg Gleason, a partner at Wynnchurch.

Wynnchurch makes investments in middle-market companies that have revenues of $50 million to $1 billion. Sectors of interest include aerospace & defense, automotive, building products, chemicals, food, logistics, energy services & equipment, environmental services, industrial products & services, metals & mining, and paper & packaging.

“We are excited to add Western to the platform to create one of the largest domestic, vertically integrated manufacturers of fitting and flanges with meaningful growth potential,” said Paul Ciolino, a partner at Wynnchurch.

In January 2020, Wynnchurch closed its fifth private equity fund, Wynnchurch Capital Partners V LP, with $2.28 billion of committed capital. The new fund, which began its marketing in September 2019 with a target of $1.6 billion, was oversubscribed and closed at its hard cap. Wynnchurch is actively seeking investment opportunities for its new fund.

​Wynnchurch was founded in 1999 and is headquartered in the Chicago suburb of Rosemont with additional offices in Los Angeles (El Segundo), and Toronto.

Private Equity Professional | April 15, 2020

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