Experi-Metal (EMI) makes engineered, metal-formed prototypes, sub-assemblies, body-in-white (BIW) assemblies, and provides bridge production services to companies in the automotive, aerospace, defense and alternative energy industries [Note: body in white or BIW refers to the stage in automotive design or automobile manufacturing in which a car body’s sheet metal components have been welded together]. Experi-Metal was founded in 1959 and is headquartered in the Detroit suburb of Sterling Heights (www.experi-metal.com).
The buy of EMI is Watermill’s second transaction in the automotive industry in the past 13 months. In June 2015, Watermill acquired Quality Metalcraft (QMC), a producer of metal components and assemblies, providing prototyping and low-to-medium volume production to companies in the automotive and specialty vehicle industries. Quality Metalcraft was founded in 1964 and is headquartered in the Detroit suburb of Livonia, MI (www.qualitymetalcraft.com).
QMC is led by its CEO Kurt Saldana who will now serve as the chief executive at EMI. EMI is led by its president, Gerry King, who will now take on the role of head of prototype sales for both EMI and QMC.
Together, ENI and QMC can provide prototyping and niche production services to OEMs, automakers and start-ups in the automotive and other industries. “The automotive industry is in the midst of a monumental shift. Technology-driven trends are transforming consumer appetite and disrupting an industry that has remained mostly unchanged for decades,” said Steven Karol, Managing Partner and Founder, the Watermill Group. “By operating collaboratively, EMI and QMC will offer unparalleled benefits to traditional OEMs, tier-one suppliers and new entrants to the market, all of whom seek the creativity, speed and quality that drives success today and will continue to drive market transformation.”
The Watermill Group invests in manufacturing, value-added distribution, and business services companies that have $50 million to $500 million of revenue and up to $30 million in EBITDA. Sectors of interest include aerospace; automotive and heavy truck; building products and services; chemicals; energy and energy services; food products and services; industrial distribution and services; metals; paper and packaging; and rubber and plastics. The firm is based in Lexington, MA (www.watermill.com).
Cerberus Business Finance (www.cerberuscapital.com) and the Business Credit Division of PNC Bank provided financing to support the acquisition of EMI. Cowen & Company (www.cowen.com) was the placement agent for the debt. Goodwin Procter (www.goodwinlaw.com) provided legal counsel to Watermill.
© 2016 Private Equity Professional • 8-4-16