Wabash designs and manufactures speed sensors, position sensors and actuators that are used in powertrain management functions. The company’s sensors appear throughout the vehicle and include pedal position sensors and speed sensors, as well as actuators for fuel management. The company services original equipment vehicle, engine and power equipment manufacturers, including major OEM and Tier-I companies in the medium/heavy truck, construction, agricultural, recreational, marine, and industrial markets. Wabash’s customers include Ford, Allison Transmission, Caterpillar, John Deere, Delphi and Magneti Marelli. Wabash was founded in 1946 and employs approximately 960 people. The company is headquartered near Detroit in Troy, MI and has manufacturing facilities in Mexicali, Mexico and Huntington, IN (www.wabashtech.com).
Sun Capital Partners first invested in Wabash in October 2007. Upon acquisition, Sun initiated several improvements to business operations in order to navigate the business through the global financial crisis, which was particularly challenging for the automotive industry. By carefully managing working capital, increasing production efficiencies, SKU rationalization, realizing meaningful platform growth with new and existing automotive OEM customers, and expanding into additional end markets and geographies, the company was able to offset enormous market declines.
“Wabash Technologies’ customer-focused solutions and achievement of significant operational improvements have fueled the company’s continued growth in the global sensor market,” said Marc Leder, Co-CEO at Sun Capital. “We’re pleased with the company’s progress under our ownership, and are confident the company is well-positioned for future success.”
Sun Capital Partners is a private investment firm focused on leveraged buyouts, equity, debt, and other investments in companies that can benefit from its in-house operating professionals and experience. Sun Capital has invested in and managed more than 330 companies worldwide with combined sales in excess of $45 billion since the firm’s inception in 1995. The firm has offices in Boca Raton, Los Angeles, and New York as well as affiliates with offices in London, Paris, Frankfurt, Luxembourg, Shanghai and Shenzhen (www.SunCapPart.com).
Sensata Technologies is a supplier of sensing, electrical protection, control and power management products with operations in 11 countries. Sensata’s products are used in automotive, appliance, aircraft, industrial, military, heavy vehicle, heating, air-conditioning and ventilation, data, telecommunications, recreational vehicle and marine applications. The company is headquartered in Attleboro, MA (www.sensata.com).
“This transaction aligns with Sensata’s objective to execute on acquisitions that are close to our core business. Acquisitions such as this will help us achieve our target operating model of double-digit revenue growth during times of core market headwinds,” said Martha Sullivan, Sensata Technologies President and Chief Executive Officer. “Wabash’s position in the magnetic, speed and position sensing market builds on current Sensata capabilities and provides new capabilities in throttle position and transmission range sensing while enabling additional entry points into the important heavy vehicle and off-road market.”
Lincoln International advised Sun Capital Partners on the transaction.
© 2013 PEPD • Private Equity’s Leading News Magazine • 12-19-13