Hitachi Metals to acquire Waupaca Foundry in U.S. for $1.3 bln

NEW YORK Tue Aug 19, 2014 11:54am EDT

NEW YORK Aug 19 (Reuters) - Hitachi Metals Ltd, a producer of specialty steel and automotive parts, said on Tuesday it would acquire Waupaca Foundry Inc, the world's largest iron castings provider, from buyout firm KPS Capital Partners LP for $1.3 billion in cash.

Waupaca serves the transport machinery market, primarily in North America. Hitachi Metals said it saw the deal as "tremendous opportunity" to acquire overwhelmingly large production capacity and a customer base in the sector.

Hitachi Metals, which is listed in Tokyo, has a market capitalization of $7.3 billion. The Waupaca, Wisconsin-based company it has agreed to acquire operates six manufacturing plants in the United States and reported net sales in the 12 months to the end of September of $1.74 billion.

The deal is a home run for KPS, which acquired Waupaca just two years ago from German industrial conglomerate ThyssenKrupp AG. A source familiar with the matter, who was not authorized to publicly disclose such financial information, said KPS stood to make about five times its $226 million investment in Waupaca.

The sale of Waupaca to Hitachi Metals is expected to close in October, subject to regulatory approvals. (Reporting by Greg Roumeliotis in New York; Editing by Chris Reese)