EVANS, Ga. – Queen Elizabeth’s mode of transportation recently at the Royal Horticultural Society's Chelsea Flower Show drew considerable media attention.At the age of 95, she was driven in a $75,000, state-of-the art golf cart with all-weather capability. The cart came equipped with cream leather seats with reclining capability. Cup holders, a heated windscreen and Bluetooth capability were among the other features for the luxury vehicle.The cart was manufactured by Garia, a Danish low-speed electric vehicle company acquired by Club Car earlier this year. It was Club Car’s first add-on since being acquired by Platinum Equity in early 2021.Founded in 2005, Garia is known for its luxury golf and leisure cars that attracts customers – like the Queen of England – who are seeking to ride in style when puttering around the neighborhood or at flower shows.The addition of Garia lines up perfectly with Club Car’s direction. Golf remains a mainstay, but with an emphasis on the leisure and utility markers, Club Car’s focus goes beyond the sport. “We feel like we're moving to be a lifestyle brand,” Wagner said recently at Club Car’s headquarters in central Georgia. “Now, that brand must translate into work and work vehicles. Golf is our core, it's how the brand is prevalent, but it’s key to stretch that into these other markets. In some cases, it means cool aesthetic and high features with the colors and nice fabrics. It's interesting how we're sharing those features across all of our portfolio, so if the brand is to benefit, we know we've got to stretch it, we know we've got to mature it to really penetrate these other markets.”In a wide-ranging conversation, Wagner touted the promise of Club Car roughly one year after Platinum acquired the company from Ingersoll Rand for $1.7 billion.(Answers have been edited for clarity and length).PE: Club Car is known as a golf cart manufacturer, but what are other areas of focus for the company?Wagner: We're one of the world's largest producers of low-speed, small-wheeled vehicles, many of which are electric, but we also make gas and diesel vehicles. There are three markets, golf being one. Utility vehicles are a large market. That's people using our vehicles for work. Things like maintenance, housekeeping and people transport. The really fast-growing piece of the business is the consumer side where people use our vehicles for leisure in neighborhoods.PE: You're a premium product. Is that a differentiator from competitors?Wagner: We enjoy some of the longest-running vehicles in the industry. (The vehicles are) not just aesthetically pleasing but are exciting to ride. They perform great and can do the work that the rider needs and it lasts a long time. Many of our customers are repeat customers.PE: Explain Club Cars' presence within Ingersoll Rand and why it chose to divest. Wagner: We were the second smallest business in the corporation. We were a stable, consistent performer and a good cash generator. There was a lot of passion around the brand from the board and the leadership team. A few years ago, Ingersoll Rand started to think about becoming a pure-play global company, so they split the climate division and the industrial division. We were transacted in the industrial division. At that same time, our consumer business had launched and was really growing and really expanding. And for the first time, we were a growth engine inside the corporation.Wagner: I think we became a little more attractive to put on the market to acquire, and I think Ingersoll Rand realized that they probably weren't the best owner for us. The growth maybe had exceeded the investment that they wanted to put in our non-core business. PE: What is the potential of Club Car as a standalone company? Wagner: The three markets that we serve are dramatically growing anywhere between high single-digits to mid double-digits. There are mega trends around the world that are fueling our markets; last-mile delivery and electrification of vehicles in Europe, leisure and neighborhoods with amenities in the U.S., and then what is a post-COVID golf boom with some of the highest historical rounds played in golf in 20 years. As a standalone company, we're a little more nimble, much more focused. Our investments have increased to capitalize these markets.PE: Explain what you mean by last-mile delivery. Wagner: Last mile is normally talked about with goods and services, thinking about products delivered to metro areas. They're being shipped into those areas and they need to get dispersed. Think of how Amazon gets products to where they need to be. In metro centers in Europe, that's electric vehicles only. Many of those centers, you can't have gas or diesel engines either at night or at all. Many packages are being delivered into those cities with electric vehicles. That's a real driving force. It's a $2 billion industry just for the utility business alone, with almost half of that being the last-mile delivery piece. PE: Give us a general update on the transformation under Platinum. Wagner: We were almost 20 years inside (Ingersoll Rand). To stand up everything from payroll to finance, to legal, to tax and IT, all of that work is really 100% done now. On the transformation side, we heavily focused on our operations and supply chain with a series of consultants. That work is still ongoing.PE: The release announcing the sale to Platinum mentioned the firm's carve-out expertise. What does that mean? Why was that important? Wagner: We knew it was going to be a lot of work to carve us out. About three-quarters of our leadership team had only been with public corporations in their careers. When we looked at Platinum and their portfolio and really their specialty, we knew that their expertise of the carve-out would be needed for us to be successful. That was a real differentiator for them to be able to deliver that and help that. We could have never done that on our own. We just wouldn't have had the experience to do it. We thought that was an asset and it really has been. PE: How did that carve-out expertise play out during the diligence process? Wagner: We've seen the diligence process from both sides. Both being acquired and then working closely with the Platinum team on acquiring other companies. I think the diligence process was robust. A long series of questions with follow ups. Subject matter experts were brought in, both internal to Platinum and consultants in areas like IT or legal or other areas.Wagner: As we switched to the acquisition process, the insight was a little different. There was a lot of risk management discussion, areas of concern, things that could either prevent growth or increase expense. Those follow ups were specific, poignant in areas to reduce risk over time. I appreciated it in the acquisition process.PE: Tell us about Club Car’s growth since Platinum transaction. Wagner: The demand on this business is significant. The bookings numbers coming in are very high. We have more than a year of backlog on our books with more orders coming in every hour. It's really a sprint now to ramp up capacity and volume. We've enjoyed growth together since the acquisition with probably even more growth planned for the second half of 2022.PE: What are growth opportunities and where is Club Car headed?Wagner: With the (Garia) acquisition, we have a very large breadth of vehicles at our disposal, both in the consumer space and in the utility space and can continue to benefit from the golf success. The industry availability is very low, it's like automotive dealers being empty, so it's going to take us years just to build up that inventory inside our dealer network because the demand's so high. You've got that as a tailwind as well.Wagner: Municipality and university, those markers want to procure all that stuff together. They want to have high payload and nimble vehicles all at the same time in a bid. We'll be able to do that and benefit from that. Lithium is a major trend in this industry as well. More of our products are being developed with lithium which is great benefit to the customer, but also higher sales prices and margin prices for us. We're launching a new consumer vehicle in September after four years of development that will be a game changer between a golf cart and automotive, something special for neighborhoods and families to enjoy.PE: Where do you see Club Car in five years?Wagner: It's a more global business. I think it's a heavily EV business. We have obviously been in electric vehicles for 60 years, but electric is becoming such a high percentage of the business that is our future. The business is Tesla-like fun. There will be an emphasis on technology in autonomous, technology in our connectivity, how we're delivering entertainment or knowledge or safety inside the vehicles. Those are all compelling.Wagner: The last piece, I would aspire to have this business be more of a leader in our space in safety and regulations. There's a lot of work to do here, some is part of ESG that I think could be in that framework, some would be just better stewards. Those are real opportunities for us in the future.
Stakeholders give insight into how good relations and trust are vital when it comes to corporate partnershipsWhen Platinum Equity and Ball Corporation sold Ball Metalpack to Sonoco for approximately $1.35 billion, it marked a successful exit for a Platinum-sponsored partnership with a corporate seller.The sale came after a comprehensive three-year transformation program where Ball Metalpack, the sustainable steel container manufacturer based in Colorado, was established as a standalone enterprise through a broad range of operational improvements throughout the business. The containers are used for aerosol products, food, household consumables, pet food, nutritional and other products in North America.Priorities for the transformation program included footprint optimization, new product development, expansion of the company's capabilities, and investments in growth and operational excellence. Ball Metalpack invested approximately $100 million in state-of-the-art manufacturing infrastructure since 2018 when the partnership was formed. Platinum Equity owned 51 percent; Ball Corporation 49 percent.Platinum Equity Partner Louis Samson noted that Platinum Equity has experience creating similar transaction structures with large corporations when they are seeking to divest assets. Ball joins Caterpillar (Neovia Logistics), Emerson (Artesyn Technologies and Vertiv), and Telstra (Sensis) as companies that have participated in equity upside along with Platinum Equity.“We find that corporate sellers can benefit from a structure that allows for a partial sale at the outset of their divestment process, with the opportunity to deliver incremental value by participating in the upside we can create together,” Samson said. “This investment is another successful story of aligning our interests with those of one of the world's leading corporations and delivering value for both of us.”Ball Corporation Chairman and former CEO John A. Hayes, Samson and other Platinum executives were asked to give their insights into the Ball Metalpack exit.(Answers have been edited for clarity and length).Hayes on Platinum’s operational capabilities: “Over the years, it has become clear to us at Ball that Platinum is a differentiated private equity firm with a tremendous operational capability and high standards of integrity. Platinum is a trusted partner – the firm's carveout expertise, operational capabilities and relentless approach to execution proved to be a powerful combination, and the impact we have been able to achieve together speaks for itself.”Samson on the cooperation with Ball Corporation: “Three years ago, John Hayes came to us with a clear-eyed vision for what Ball Metalpack could accomplish by creating a structure that would bring us together as partners and deploy the full Platinum toolkit to create value,” Samson said. “We quickly mapped out a plan, negotiated a deal that aligned our interests, and then our teams went to work. I'm proud that by joining forces we were able to deliver on behalf of the company and its shareholders.”Platinum Principal Koustubh Patwardhan on Platinum’s packaging expertise and building trust early: “We've spent a lot of time in the packaging space. By the time we came to look at the Metalpack deal, we were very quick, we knew the key deal points or what the hot buttons would be. We were able to get to a deal in pretty short order because we had that base knowledge.”Platinum Managing Director Delara Zarrabi on working with Ball: “It was just two teams always working together. I think because John and Louis had built that relationship really early and trusted each other, any bump along the way was just putting our heads together and getting through the issue. It was always, how can we fix it?”Zarrabi on how operational focus overcame challenges: “We delivered to our customers when some of our competitors couldn't. We were really malleable and creative in procuring steel when the market was challenging. Our investment in people and infrastructure allowed us to deliver to our customers in a time of really tight supply and really strong demand. All those investments we made in people, process and operations, throughout that journey, were the reasons why we could really deliver.
Acquisition will expand Solenis’ product offering and strengthen its ability to supply cost-effective, sustainable solutions for recreational pool and spa customers, providing clean, clear, safer water. WILMINGTON, Del. and SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. (USA) — Solenis and Clearon Corp. have announced that Solenis has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Clearon. This acquisition will enable Solenis to expand its portfolio of products for the residential and commercial pool water and spa treatment markets. Clearon produces trichloroisocyanuric acid (trichlor) and dichloroisocyanuric acid (dichlor) at its South Charleston, W.Va. plant and converts these core chemistries into an array of finished goods at its tableting and packaging facility. Products include sanitizers and disinfectants for applications such as recreational water treatment, as well as household, industrial and institutional (HI&I) and other water treatment applications. The transaction is expected to be completed before the end of 2022, subject to regulatory approval and customary closing conditions. Financial terms were not disclosed. Solenis and Clearon will continue to operate as independent companies until the transaction is complete. “This acquisition will help Solenis fulfill a strategic growth initiative following our recent ownership change to Platinum Equity, driving value through our branded Pool Solutions sanitization product line while providing an enhanced customer experience through expanded offerings and cost-effective pool solutions,” said John Panichella, CEO, Solenis. “We continue to work closely with the Platinum Equity team to identify opportunities to add value for our customers and drive growth for the Solenis team.” “Clearon is an important accelerator in our strategic growth road map and will be a step change in our ability to delight customers and consumers,” said Robert Baird, president of Pool Solutions at Solenis. “We’re excited to add Clearon’s impressive portfolio of consumer solutions and remain vigilant in our quest to build the world’s leading company in pool and water care solutions.” “Once closed, this transaction will align the strong legacy and complementary capabilities of two remarkable companies, both of whom are committed to safe, reliable and sustainable operations for the betterment of their customers and the communities in which they operate. This combination will allow our customers to be met with a diverse portfolio of solutions while providing tremendous growth opportunities for Clearon’s most precious asset, our employees,” said Bryan Kitchen, president and CEO, Clearon Corp. Holland and Knight LLP is providing legal counsel and Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP is providing debt financing counsel to Solenis. BofA Securities and Goldman Sachs are leading the debt financing for the acquisition. Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP is providing legal counsel to Clearon. BDAPartners is acting as Clearon’s financial advisor in respect of the transaction. For more information, visit www.solenis.com. About SolenisSolenis is a leading global producer of specialty chemicals focused on delivering sustainable solutions for water-intensive industries, including the pulp, packaging paper and board, tissue and towel, oil and gas, petroleum refining, chemical processing, mining, biorefining, power, municipal, and pool and spa markets. Owned by Platinum Equity, the company’s product portfolio includes a broad array of water treatment chemistries, process aids and functional additives, as well as state-of-the-art monitoring and control systems. These technologies are used by customers to improve operational efficiencies, enhance product quality, protect plant assets, minimize environmental impact and maintain healthy water. Headquartered in Wilmington, Delaware, the company has 48 manufacturing facilities strategically located around the globe and employs a team of over 6,000 professionals in 120 countries across five continents. Solenis is a 2022 US Best Managed Company. For additional information about Solenis, please visit www.solenis.com or follow us on social media. About ClearonClearon Corp. is a specialty chemical manufacturer based in South Charleston, West Virginia. The company’s portfolio includes essential sanitizers and disinfectants for water treatment and household, industrial and institutional applications. The company is committed to the development and manufacturing of essential, sustainable chemistries and novel delivery solutions to the delight of their customers. Clearon is committed to maintaining a safe and reliable operations for their customers, employees, and the communities in which they operate.FOR FURTHER INFORMATION: SolenisCatherine (Katy) Abernathy +1 904-910 1071 firstname.lastname@example.org ClearonJ. Bryan Kitchen(239) email@example.com
With engaging games like Grand Slam Superstar, Wheel of Fortune on FanDuel app, Game Taco aiming to grow ‘an audience in really a revolutionary way’ Grand Slam Superstar has a prominent location, tucked in the right corner, when the FanDuel Faceoff app is fully loaded on an iPhone. As the name implies, Grand Slam Superstar is a skill-based game where the user scores highest by hitting as many grand slams as possible over the course of 90 seconds. The game is infectious, but the app provides more than idle entertainment; it also allows users to compete against other online competitors for the chance to win cash and other prizes. Grand Slam Superstar and the well-known Wheel of Fortune are two of the five games available on the Fan Duel Faceoff app. The app is the product of an agreement between online gaming company FanDuel and Game Taco, a skill-based tournament gaming platform acquired by Platinum Equity more than a year ago. What was a top reason FanDuel, one of the most recognizable names in the online gaming sector, decided to partner with Game Taco? The valuable intellectual property library Game Taco has through it’s Platinum-sponsored acquisition of WorldWinner, a skill-based game pioneer. “We conducted a multi-year strategic analysis of the game space and found Game Taco was the best platform to provide FanDuel with both the operational know-how and well-known IP (WorldWinner),” FanDuel Faceoff general manager Aaron Champagne said. “We also were impressed with the growth and innovation mindset of (GameTaco CEO) Josh Barrow. “During our review, it became clear that Game Taco was the platform that most closely shared FanDuel’s vision of where the game space was going and how FanDuel could best win in this market.” Available in 32 states, the IOS-based platform allows players to compete through existing FanDuel accounts. The two other games available are King's Crossing and Block Trail, but more offerings will come. The multi-year agreement positions Game Taco well because of the access to FanDuel’s legion of daily fantasy sports players, who are inclined to go against competitors in skill-based games with the possibility of winning a little money. “It allows us access to a massive market that’s highly engaged without doing the traditional paid advertising,” Barrow said. “Part of our strategy is we can strategically do partnerships like this and open up an audience in really a revolutionary way.” Strategic thinking The Supreme Court’s 2018 decision to strike down a federal law that banned commercial sports betting in most states was a major boost to the world of online sports gaming. Conventional wisdom at the time said major casino companies were the most well-positioned to capitalize on the change. That was a false assumption. “What most people didn't contemplate is that with daily fantasy sports sites like FanDuel, having developed customers in nearly 40 states at that time, they became the winners,” Game Taco executive chairman and FanDuel board member David Nathanson said. “As soon as the states passed the regulation allowing legalized sports betting, they had a database of customers that were already optimized to bet on sports.” Shortly before the court’s decision, Barrow founded Game Taco. “After building and having exits with two companies, I really wanted to do more of a passion play,” Barrow said. “I was inspired by what I saw happening with FanDuel and some other competitors. After doing a little research I learned the distinction between games of skill and games of chance, and the fact that drafting a fantasy team is considered a skill, and therefore not gambling.” It also means that FanDuel and other fantasy sites already have infrastructure to accommodate real-money competition. But you need engaging games and operational know-how to connect with users and open up skill-gaming. That’s the appeal of Game Taco. Early on, the company struck a deal with Atari for the IP associated with games like Asteroids and Centipede. As Game Taco was negotiating a deal with FanDuel, it acquired WorldWinner from a subsidiary of Sony Pictures Entertainment. Like Game Taco, WorldWinner offers tournaments for players of all skill levels featuring many of the world's favorite games, including Wheel of Fortune. WorldWinner is a pioneer in the space. “In combining the companies, you sort of got the best of both worlds: the most competitive technology and approach to skill games and the longest legacy in skill games,” Nathanson said. “But if you look at other companies in the skill gaming space, the majority of growth is coming through user acquisition.” So FanDuel provides the customers; Game Taco provides the experience and IP. Executives are excited about the future because of expected growth in the online gaming space. Few states allow online gaming with games of chance like slots. But the number is expected to grow, which will bring more users to online gaming platforms. “I believe if we establish the largest database of customers and skill games, what daily fantasy sports was to sports books, skill games, casual mobile skill games will be to iGaming in the future,” Nathanson said. “So we are building, in my opinion, the largest database of high-quality audiences in every state where it's permissible to play games of skill, because that's going to give us a huge competitive advantage as the world evolves to eventually allow games of chance.”
Proposed Carveout from Paris-based Specialty Materials Leader Adds to Global Buyout Firm’s Momentum in Europe LOS ANGELES and PARIS (July 28, 2022) – Platinum Equity today announced that it has entered into exclusive negotiations to acquire Imerys SA’s High Temperature Solutions business (HTS) in a transaction valued at approximately €930 million. The proposed transaction, which is subject to the fulfillment of customary closing conditions, including the information and consultation of works councils and other regulatory approvals, is expected to be completed by the end of the year. HTS is a leading global provider of refractory solutions serving more than 6,000 customers in the iron and steel, thermal and foundry markets. The business, which generated revenues of €801 million in 2021, employs approximately 2,800 people across 36 industrial sites in 16 countries. “We have great respect for the Imerys team, which has been an excellent steward of the HTS business for many years. We appreciate their confidence in our ability to deliver a transaction that is opportune for everyone involved,” said Platinum Equity Partner Louis Samson, who oversees the firm’s European operations. “Platinum’s carveout expertise and ability to manage through complex situations once again differentiated us. We are excited to add HTS to our growing pan-European portfolio and to support its new chapter of growth.” “We have great respect for the Imerys team, which has been an excellent steward of the HTS business for many years. We appreciate their confidence in our ability to deliver a transaction that is opportune for everyone involved. Platinum’s carveout expertise and ability to manage through complex situations once again differentiated us. We are excited to add HTS to our growing pan-European portfolio and to support its new chapter of growth.” Louis Samson, Partner, Platinum Equity Alessandro Dazza, CEO of Imerys said: “I would like to thank the HTS teams for their hard work, unwavering commitment and strong contribution to the Group over the years. HTS is a fantastic business, a world leader in its field, with a highly talented workforce, and it has demonstrated its potential for growth. We have chosen Platinum Equity for its industrial vision, open support for the management and commitment to further contribute to the HTS growth and development. This divestment is a significant milestone in the Group’s refocusing efforts around its core, high-growth specialty minerals business aligned with global mega trends.” HTS products primarily serve the construction, industrial equipment and automotive end markets, which are all sectors in which Platinum Equity has made significant investments. Platinum Equity has also owned several companies in the materials space, including steel processors Ryerson and PNA Group, and Kymera, which produces a variety of specialty materials, powders, pastes and granules used in a wide range of metallurgical, chemical and industrial processes. “We have a lot of experience investing in industrials businesses and the materials sector in particular. The high-temperature solutions industry is highly fragmented and HTS is a scalable platform with meaningful opportunities to grow,” said Platinum Equity Managing Director Malik Vorderwuelbecke. “We expect to leverage the company’s strong foundation and impressive technical capabilities to accelerate its growth, both organically and through targeted M&A investments in key product areas and geographies. We look forward to working with the company’s leadership team and supporting its long-term growth plans.” Michel Cornelissen, the Imerys executive who has led the HTS business since 2018, will continue as CEO of HTS following the proposed transition to new ownership. The HTS acquisition will further expand Platinum Equity’s growing portfolio of European investments. “We have had a lot of success as a transaction partner in Europe and are committed to continuing to invest the region,” added Mr. Samson. Other current European Platinum Equity investments include: European vacation rentals group Awaze (London); private label sweet biscuits manufacturer Biscuit International (Paris); global marine contractor De Wave Group (Genoa, Italy); wine producer Fantini Group Vini (Ortona, Italy); seafood provider Iberconsa (Vigo, Spain); UK property services firm Leaders Romans Group (Berkshire, England); and environmental services business Urbaser (Madrid). National Bank Financial Inc. is serving as financial advisor to Platinum Equity on the acquisition of HTS. Kirkland & Ellis LLP is providing legal counsel to Platinum Equity on the transaction. About Platinum Equity Founded in 1995 by Tom Gores, Platinum Equity is a global investment firm with approximately $36 billion of assets under management and a portfolio of approximately 50 operating companies that serve customers around the world. The firm is currently investing from Platinum Equity Capital Partners V, a $10 billion global buyout fund, and Platinum Equity Small Cap Fund, a $1.5 billion buyout fund focused on investment opportunities in the lower middle market. Platinum Equity specializes in mergers, acquisitions and operations – a trademarked strategy it calls M&A&O® – acquiring and operating companies in a broad range of business markets, including manufacturing, distribution, transportation and logistics, equipment rental, metals services, media and entertainment, technology, telecommunications and other industries. Over the past 27 years Platinum Equity has completed more than 350 acquisitions.
The purchase accelerates its Expansion Strategy with further manufacturing capacity for the European marketsBarcelona – July 18, 2022 — Peli Products Germany GmbH, a subsidiary of Pelican Products, Inc., the global leader in the design and manufacture of high-performance protective cases, temperature-controlled packaging solutions and advanced portable lighting systems, announces the acquisition of HVB Kunststofftechnik GmbH’s injection and roto-molding business, Peli’s German-based manufacturing partner for the last 14 years.Since the beginning of the partnership in 2008, Peli has been investing in local production of an increasing number of cases – both injection-moulded and roto-moulded. This is consistent with Peli’s strategy to boost local capabilities that provide an improved customer experience by lowering lead times of supply as well as helping to achieve its global sustainability commitment. It is expected that additional investments will be deployed in the very near future at the manufacturing site to further increase the share of products “Made in Germany”.“Moving part of the production to Europe has helped us to cover most of our European demand with ‘Made in Germany’ PELI Cases,” said Piero Marigo, Peli’s President of International Business. “Continued local investment is crucial to attain the intertwined goals of sustainable development and corporate growth.”This acquisition is the first transaction under the ownership of Platinum Equity, which acquired Pelican Products and its affiliates and subsidiaries at the end of 2021, and reasserts its determination to support and accelerate the company’s international growth plans."We are delivering on our promise to invest in the company’s growth and expansion," said Platinum Equity Partner Jacob Kotzubei and Platinum Equity Managing Director Matthew Louie in a joint statement. "We will continue working with the team and providing the resources the company needs to pursue more opportunities to drive growth organically and through acquisitions."For more information about Peli Products visit www.peli.com.
Ryerson CEO Eddie Lehner told a crowd of elected officials, dignitaries and construction workers earlier this month that well-paying manufacturing jobs are key to the American economy, according to the Chicago Tribune. He made the remarks came during a ground-breaking ceremony for wholly owned subsidiary Central Steel & Wire. "I am going to say it three times for good luck," Lehner said. "Manufacturing, manufacturing, manufacturing." The new 900,000-square-foot facility – a service center facility and headquarters for Central Steel & Wire – is located in University Park (a southern suburb of Chicago). The new facility will provide more than 300 jobs and will feature expanded bar and tube processing equipment. The facility is expected to be operational by the middle of 2023. "When we make it here, everyone benefits and it's not a zero-sum game but we create new prosperity and new family wage jobs that can stand the test of competition and time," Lehner told the group. Ryerson (NYSE:RYI), a Platinum Equity portfolio company, is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange and is one of the largest processors and distributors of metals in North America. The company processes and distributes a full line of products in stainless steel, aluminum, carbon steel and alloy steels and a limited line of nickel and red metals in various shapes and forms.
Investment in Hong Kong-based lingerie and swimwear company led by Platinum’s Singapore investment team LOS ANGELES and SINGAPORE, June 20, 2022 — Platinum Equity announced today the signing of a definitive agreement to acquire a controlling stake in international fashion lingerie and swimwear company Hop Lun from company founder Erik Ryd. Financial terms were not disclosed. Founded by Mr. Ryd in 1992 and headquartered in Hong Kong, Hop Lun is one of the world’s largest designers and manufacturers of intimate apparel and is a top provider of bra solutions in the US, UK and EU. “We have known Erik for a long time and have closely tracked Hop Lun’s growth and performance over the past several years,” said Jacob Kotzubei, the partner in Platinum Equity’s Los Angeles headquarters who oversees the firm’s Singapore-based team. “Erik is an energetic and passionate entrepreneur who cares deeply about the company’s employees and customers, and he has had a meaningful impact on the evolution of the industry.” The Hop Lun investment is being led by Platinum Equity’s Singapore office. “Our team in Asia has a lot of experience helping founder-owned businesses leverage Platinum’s operational expertise and M&A capabilities to maximize their potential,” added Mr. Kotzubei. “We are excited to work alongside Erik and his leadership team, and to bring those same resources to bear for Hop Lun.” Hop Lun employs more than 30,000 people and has manufacturing operations in Bangladesh, China, Ethiopia and Indonesia. The company produces products for many of the world’s largest global retailers as well as for its own in-house brands. “Hop Lun is an ideal platform with multiple ways to evolve and expand,” said Matthew Louie, managing director at Platinum Equity. “We are excited to work with Erik to accelerate investments in growing the company, both organically and through strategic M&A, that can expand Hop Lun’s production capabilities, customer base and portfolio of owned brands.” Mr. Ryd will retain a significant stake in Hop Lun and will continue to help lead the business going forward. “I am proud of everything we have built over the last three decades and am confident Platinum is the perfect partner for our next phase of growth,” said Mr. Ryd. “Platinum’s operations expertise is well suited to help us navigate the increasing complexity of the apparel business and take advantage of the sector’s continued consolidation.” The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to be completed during the third quarter of 2022. BDA Partners and Goldman Sachs & Co. are serving as financial advisors to Hop Lun on the sale to Platinum Equity. Mayer Brown LLP is serving as Hop Lun’s legal counsel. Latham & Watkins LLP is providing legal counsel and Kirkland & Ellis LLP is providing debt financing counsel to Platinum Equity on the acquisition of Hop Lun. About Platinum Equity Founded in 1995 by Tom Gores, Platinum Equity is a global investment firm with approximately $36 billion of assets under management and a portfolio of approximately 50 operating companies that serve customers around the world. The firm is currently investing from Platinum Equity Capital Partners V, a $10 billion global buyout fund, and Platinum Equity Small Cap Fund, a $1.5 billion buyout fund focused on investment opportunities in the lower middle market. Platinum Equity specializes in mergers, acquisitions and operations – a trademarked strategy it calls M&A&O® – acquiring and operating companies in a broad range of business markets, including manufacturing, distribution, transportation and logistics, equipment rental, metals services, media and entertainment, technology, telecommunications and other industries. Over the past 27 years Platinum Equity has completed more than 350 acquisitions.
When Platinum Equity announced the $5.25 billion acquisition of Solenis, the firm was highly complementary of the water treatment chemistry company’s leadership. “It is an exceptionally well-run organization with an outstanding management team and a service-oriented culture,” Platinum Equity Partner Jacob Kotzubei said when the definitive agreement was announced last summer. “We believe in the company's mission and we are excited to invest in its continued growth and expansion.” That leadership was acknowledged recently as a US Best Managed Company for the second year in a row by The Wall Street Journal and Deloitte in their program recognizing outstanding U.S. private companies and the achievement of their management teams. The release said: “The 2021 designees have demonstrated excellence in strategic planning and execution, a commitment to their people and fostering a dynamic, resilient culture, as well as strong financials, all while facing the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite major challenges and immense pressure, they continued to lead with purpose and the vision to make significant contributions to their industries, communities, workforces and the economy.” As part of Platinum’s Annual General Meeting program last fall, Solenis CEO John Panichella was asked to touch upon these themes. In a wide-ranging conversation, Panichella explained Solenis’ mission, the Platinum-sponsored merger with pool-treatment company Sigura Water, its commitment to ESG and how Platinum will impact the company’s future. PE: What does Solenis do? Panichella: We provide specialty chemicals and technical services for water-intensive industries. Our solutions generally derive sustainable outcomes for customers around conserving and reusing water, using energy more efficiently, reducing waste in processes, and driving raw material efficiencies by consuming less and reusing more. Panichella: Our chemistries make your everyday life better. For customers of our pool solutions business, we make pool and spa water safe through our biocidal chemistries. (Biocidal is a product with an active substance that is intended to combat harmful organisms). Our industrial solutions team focuses on industrial water-treatment products that enable manufacturing processes to be more efficient. Our consumer solutions team enables papermakers to enhance the functional properties and visual characteristics of their products, and to optimize their pulp and papermaking processes. When you receive something in a box, more than likely our products made it stronger and more sustainable. PE: Who are your major customers? Panichella: Our major customers are refineries, chemical producers, power producers and paper manufacturers. Exxon, Dow Chemical, BASF or Marathon Oil would be examples of industrial water customers. In the tissue and towel industry, this would be customers like Kimberly-Clark or Procter & Gamble. And in the food packaging area, this would be customers like Graphic Packaging. In the corrugated (more durable cardboard) packaging area, this would be customers like International Paper, Packaging Corporation of America, and WestRock. PE: What are the company's top priorities following the transition to Platinum? Panichella: In the short term, we are focused on executing our strategy and business plan, which calls for us to grow the company and pay down our debt. This is a growth opportunity because the water treatment market as we define it is about a $36 billion market, growing at 4% to 5% annually. Our strategy will be to capture our fair share of that growth market. PE: What are the factors driving that growth right now in the water treatment markets? Panichella: Environmental regulations are a key factor. Actions by countries around the world generally mean water cleanliness is a more stringent requirement; it must meet higher standards before it can be discharged into the environment. And all those types of requirements drive the demand for our products. Water scarcity also is a trend that's driving consumption of our products, because as the world gets warmer and water availability is reduced, people and manufacturers will need to reuse the water. Cleaning water so it can be reused really drives the need for our technologies. Panichella: The Amazon effect is good for our corrugated packaging business. Think about it: You point and click every day. What shows up at your house? A box. Our products go into making that box, giving it strength and giving it light weight. Then there's a big trend around plastics. Every day you see the news about plastics in the oceans. As a result, consumer brands have really recognized the impact that single-use plastics have on the environment. And so, consumer brands are driving the conversion from plastics to fiber-based solutions. These fiber-based solutions are perfect for us because we enable fiber to be used as a package. We give it dry strength; we give it wet strength, we give it barrier coatings. Those are just some examples of really positive trends that are driving the growth in this market. PE: Why are Solenis and Sigura a good fit? Panichella: We both participate in the water space, selling products that really make water work. One of the key things you try to do with water is keep it safe so people can be around it. Solenis sells a line of biocides to disinfect water used in packaging mills, in industrial cooling applications, so it is a key technology for us. If you look at the Sigura business, it's all around disinfection in pools and spas. When you combine Solenis and Sigura, you create very close to a $900 million business that's focused on disinfection in water systems. PE: How did the Platinum team characterize their interest in Solenis? Panichella: Well, Platinum's interest in us began with their acquisition of Sigura. They studied the water space, thought it was attractive for a lot of the reasons that I've already shared with you. Then once they acquired Sigura, they knew how to build a bigger platform. PE: Is there anything specific about Platinum's approach that impressed you? Panichella: Yeah, what I liked about the Platinum team was their thorough diligence; they went deep on a lot of areas. And while that was exhausting for my team, the reality is you like to work with somebody who's going to go deep and make sure they really understand the business, the people, the markets. I also could see that they had operational expertise, and I think that fit nicely with our culture. And I thought the people were high-skill people. PE: How does Solenis help its customers meet sustainability goals? How does Solenis products help the environment? Panichella: About 80% of our sales revenue is directly attributed to products that help customers meet their sustainability goals. That's really what the company is built upon. Panichella: In the wastewater treatment area, as an example, our products are used in sludge disposal areas to reduce the amount of solids that go to landfill. These products, help customers to efficiently remove water from those solids so that they can landfill them more effectively. In food packaging, our products provide barrier coatings that allow products such as paper cups, french fry boxes and ice cream containers to be compostable and recyclable. In the energy area, our deposit-control technologies help reduce their energy costs. We also help them gain efficiency by reusing water. PE: How has Solenis invested in sustainability? Panichella: First, it's about our products and what we do for customers. I told you that 80% of our products drive sustainable outcomes for customers. That's a pretty big investment on our part. Panichella: Second, we invest in new products. We spend about 2% of our sales on R&D investments that are driving these sustainable outcomes. Panichella: Then the third thing that we really focused on is our sustainability document and approach to explain to investors, employees, and customers, our commitment to ESG. We named a chief sustainability officer, created a sustainability report which is posted on our website and we're dedicating a lot of resources to drive improvement across all aspects of ESG. So we've invested a lot of money; this is pretty core to our strategy at Solenis.