Founders Investment Banking, LLC is pleased to announce that Walpar, Inc. has been recapitalized by Rock Gate Partners, LLC in partnership with Peninsula Capital Partners, L.L.C., who provided both debt and equity in support of the transaction. Walpar, based in Birmingham, Alabama, is a leading designer and fabricator of highway signage structures and other highly-engineered, large-scale fabricated metal structures. Walpar has successfully leveraged its excellent reputation to achieve significant growth and an industry leadership position, and is well positioned to be a beneficiary of the increased focus on infrastructure investment in the United States.
Founders Investment Banking acted as the exclusive advisor to Walpar’s shareholders—Henry, Allen, and Stan Parker—in the transaction. “As has been well-publicized, the broader capital markets are experiencing unprecedented challenges. The reality is that, right now, debt is more difficult to source and equity investors are being more selective. This transaction, however, demonstrates that solutions remain available for companies that are able to appropriately navigate the private capital markets,” indicated Duane Donner, Managing Director of Founders Investment Banking. “Fortunately, despite these market challenges, our team was able to structure a deal that addressed the Parkers’ multi-pronged objectives, including helping them realize significant liquidity after 30 years of ownership, partnering with investors that will provide new and additional opportunities for Walpar’s employees, aligning with financing providers that can and will provide the capital needed to further expand the company and its markets, and maintaining significant ownership for realization of future upside as the business continues to grow.”
Allen Parker, who will continue in his role as Walpar’s President and who also retained significant equity ownership in the business, noted, “Founders became an integral part of our team during this transaction process. They worked tirelessly to deliver results that met our objectives as managers and shareholders, despite the market upheaval we encountered throughout this process. We are thrilled about the partnership with Rock Gate Partners and Peninsula and believe it positions our business to expand our presence and reach.”
Ken Ali and Steve Foutch, Managing Directors with Rock Gate Partners, noted, “The Parker family and the entire team at Walpar have built an exceptional business. We couldn’t be more excited about the opportunity to work with such a talented team that is also so passionate about the business that they have created. We look forward to working with the Walpar team to assist in further capitalizing on its well-deserved market leadership position.”
Rock Gate Partners, LLC (“RGP”) is a Chicago-based private equity firm that invests in growing, middle market companies that have created unique market positions, providing the basis for continued organic growth while offering a platform for acquisitions. RGP partners with management teams in leveraged buyouts, corporate divestitures, recapitalizations, industry consolidations and growth capital investments in companies typically generating $10 to $75 million in revenue.
Peninsula Capital Partners, L.L.C. is a Detroit-based investment company specializing in subordinated debt and structured equity investments in superior middle-market companies. Through its management of four private limited partnerships, the firm controls over $800 million of investment capital and has made dozens of investments in a wide range of industrial, consumer products, retail, food and distribution concerns.