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Goldman Sachs, GE Capital are Lead Arrangers in KPS’ Newly Formed Expera

May 21, 2013, 07:49 AM
Filed Under: Manufacturing

KPS Capital Partners announced that, through a newly formed company, Expera Specialty Solutions, LLC and its affiliates, it has entered into definitive agreements with Wausau Paper Corp. to acquire Wausau's specialty paper business (Wausau Specialty Paper) and with Packaging Dynamics Corporation (PKDY) to acquire PDKY's specialty paper business (Thilmany).

Financing for the transaction will be provided by a syndicate of banks and institutional investors with Goldman Sachs & Co. and GE Capital Markets, Inc. acting as Lead Arrangers.

Wausau Specialty Paper and Thilmany are both leading, integrated North American manufacturers of specialty paper products for the food packaging, industrial and pressure-sensitive release liner segments.  Wausau Specialty Paper employs approximately 900 employees at manufacturing facilities located in Rhinelander and Mosinee, Wisconsin.  Thilmany employs approximately 900 employees at manufacturing facilities located in Kaukauna and De Pere, Wisconsin.

Wausau Specialty Paper and Thilmany have been leading suppliers of specialty paper-based products to a diverse set of end-use markets and geographies for more than 100 years.  Wausau Specialty Paper's and Thilmany's products offer highly customized solutions that are engineered to serve each customer's unique technical requirements.  The combined business's broad range of flexible machines and extensive technical capabilities creates the ideal manufacturing platform to serve the specialty paper sector.

Raquel Palmer , a KPS Partner, said, "We are very excited to create Expera.  Through the acquisitions of Wausau Specialty Paper and Thilmany, Expera immediately becomes North America's leading manufacturer of specialty paper solutions with an industry leading portfolio of brands.  The new company, with its reputation for exceptional quality, customer focus, technical expertise and product innovation, coupled with KPS's capital resources, will be perfectly positioned to capitalize on the growth in niche, non-commodity markets, where engineered and applied technological solutions are critical to success.  We believe the combination of these businesses will unlock very meaningful synergies benefiting many constituencies, including Expera's customers, employees and the communities that depend on the continuing operation of its manufacturing facilities.

"The creation of Expera was the result of two distinct and complex acquisitions that were negotiated and signed in parallel," Palmer continued, "We look forward to growing Expera aggressively, both organically and through acquisition on a global scale.  We thank the United Steelworkers Union for its critical support of our vision for the specialty paper industry in North America, the creation of Expera and its first two acquisitions."

Completion of the transactions is expected to occur simultaneously during the second or third quarter of 2013, subject to customary closing conditions.

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton and Garrison LLP and Spilman Thomas & Battle PLLC served as legal counsel to KPS and Expera.

Wausau Specialty Paper is a leading North American manufacturer of specialty paper products for use in the tape, pressure-sensitive release liner, coated products, industrial and food packaging segments. 

Thilmany is a leading North American manufacturer of specialty paper products for use in the pressure-sensitive release liner, industrial and food packaging segments. 

KPS is the manager of the KPS Special Situations Funds, a family of investment funds with over $6.0 billion of assets under management. KPS seeks to realize significant capital appreciation by making controlling equity investments in companies across a diverse range of manufacturing industries. 

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