mergers & acquisitions – Watermill http://www.watermill.com A Strategy Driven Private Equity Partnership Mon, 05 Nov 2018 19:17:57 +0000 en-US hourly 1 40 Years Strong: Watermill Celebrates a Major Milestone http://www.watermill.com/40-years-strong-watermill-celebrates-major-milestone/ Thu, 21 Jun 2018 22:51:53 +0000 http://www.watermill.com/?p=2276 This month marks our 40th year in private investment. Founded as HMK Enterprises, over the past four decades Watermill has grown into a leading and enduring presence in the middle market and beyond, acquiring, operating and improving dozens of businesses in the US and around the world. We recently commemorated our anniversary at a private...

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This month marks our 40th year in private investment.

Founded as HMK Enterprises, over the past four decades Watermill has grown into a leading and enduring presence in the middle market and beyond, acquiring, operating and improving dozens of businesses in the US and around the world. We recently commemorated our anniversary at a private celebration in downtown Boston.

Infused with a retro theme that reflected the firm’s founding in 1978, the night brought together Watermill employees, partners, investors and portfolio companies from present and past to celebrate our history of shared successes and the even brighter future ahead.

 

As a live band played 70s favorites and guests decked out in far-out fashions rediscovered forgotten snacks from the past, Watermill team members including Managing Partner and Founder Steven E. Karol, President and COO Julia Karol and Senior Partner Benjamin P. Procter entertained and thanked the guests assembled through heartfelt words, a video retrospective and a poem for the ages.

 

 

 

 

 

At the celebration, Mr. Karol reflected on the milestone, stating: “As a third-generation family firm, we are humbled to celebrate 40 years. Watermill’s endurance is a testament to the vision and values we established as a company years ago and continue to lead with today.”

The anniversary comes on the heels of several achievements for Watermill. Last month, our cross-border acquisition of Cooper & Turner was named a 2018 International Industrials Deal of the Year by M&A Advisor, the premier global network of M&A, turnaround and finance professionals. In addition, M&A Advisor named Watermill’s acquisition of Experi-Metal, Inc. a 2017 Industrials Deal of the Year and that same year recognized Ms. Karol, as well as Sarah Bowen, Director of Marketing, as Emerging Leaders in the field. Ms. Karol was also named one of 2017’s Most Influential Women in Mid-Market M&A by Mergers & Acquisitions Magazine.

“For the past four decades, Watermill has thrived on the foundation that my father, grandfather, and every member of the Watermill team has built based on creativity, integrity and professional entrepreneurship,” stated Ms. Karol. “This foundation has shaped an exceptional enterprise that’s improving companies and impacting communities. We are honored to be building on that foundation and creating Watermill’s next phase of growth and evolution.”

For a deeper dive into our history, check out our interactive timeline.

 

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Partner Profile: Meet Watermill Group’s Dale Okonow http://www.watermill.com/partner-profile-meet-watermill-groups-dale-okonow/ Wed, 28 Feb 2018 18:38:56 +0000 http://www.watermill.com/?p=2255 Providing internships to students interested in the private equity industry is an important part of the Watermill culture. Recently our intern Paul had the opportunity to sit down with Dale Okonow for an interview. How did you get into private equity? I went to law school and business school with the idea to practice law for...

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Providing internships to students interested in the private equity industry is an important part of the Watermill culture. Recently our intern Paul had the opportunity to sit down with Dale Okonow for an interview.

How did you get into private equity?

I went to law school and business school with the idea to practice law for a little bit. I always felt I needed to understand the role a lawyer played because legal is always involved in business. When you get into law, it can be challenging to transition into business, but I knew that’s what I wanted to do. The predecessor to Watermill was one of my large clients and they offered me a job originally as in house legal counsel, then eventually as CFO. One thing led to another, we started investing outside money and Watermill was born. It couldn’t have worked out better; I practiced law for 5 years and was able to use that background to transition into other things.

What is your favorite thing about Watermill?

The culture and the people. We always have a lot of fun. It’s a collegial group, very hard working. It’s not a culture where you must stay until a certain time, or you must stay until your boss leaves even if you don’t have anything you’re working on, but when we have a transaction, it’s all hands-on deck 24/7. I like the adrenaline of working on a deal and closing a deal. When that’s over you can relax a little and try to find the next one, which is nice, but I’m a transactions junkie.

What are you most excited about for Watermill in the coming years?

The private equity business is undergoing a huge transition. There’s lots of money chasing deals. The competition is becoming more and more challenging, but Watermill has always been able to find a way. We will always do a few deals a year and if we continue to have our strategic focus, stay true to our guns, and be patient, we will find a lot of opportunity in our particular niche. Watermill will never be a fast-growing firm, but we will be a very successful firm. We are not going to put out dollars for the sake of putting money to work, but rather invest in deals that we like, that make sense, and that will have a good return to our investors.

Just 10 years ago, the smart phone came out and it revolutionized the world. What’s the next game changing advancement?

Technology improves every single day. I can’t answer what the next thing will be, but I know it will be there. We always have to stay ahead of it. You can’t ignore technological advancements in what we do. When I look back to when we first started, there were typewriters, no cell phones. We sent things through fed-ex and not email. So much has changed in so little time. The hardest thing to do as an investor is anticipating what could hurt you from a technological point of view, even if it doesn’t exist or hasn’t been thought of yet. We have to be aware and think ahead of our time.

As an avid Boston sports fan. If you could pick one team to be on which would it be and why?

I would love to be on the Celtics because, first of all football scares me I don’t want all of those concussions, and second NBA basketball players are the greatest athletes ever, they are so incredible to watch. They run, jump, they are so athletic. Their hand eye coordination is unbelievable. I think playing in the NBA would be top notch, it would be a thrill. Baseball is fun, I would do that too, but as athletes, NBA basketball players can do it all. Lebron could be a tight end, he could be as good as Gronk, he could be a defensive end, he could be a linebacker, he could be anything. They’re just incredible athletes.

 

Dale Okonow, Paul, and framed $100 bill

Watermill Partner Dale Okonow (left), posing with intern Paul Balestrieri (right), and the $100 bill he parted ways with some time ago.

There are a few tokens of Watermill memorabilia throughout the office, including a framed $100 bill. What’s the story?

Well we had these interns here, before your time, and we gave them a project. We said, what’s the largest search engine in the world? Steve (Karol) goes, “its YouTube.” I say there’s no way its YouTube, its Google, everyone uses Google. You would say Google too right? How many people actually use YouTube as a search engine? So, I bet him $100 the largest search engine was Google and not YouTube. It was a big deal throughout the office. The interns came back, and what do you know, it was YouTube. I said go back that can’t be right. There’s no way, it can’t be YouTube, no way! It’s not possible, how is that possible! I lost the money, but I still think I’m right.

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The Watermill Group Wins 2017 Industrials Deal of the Year Award from The M&A Advisor http://www.watermill.com/watermill-group-wins-2017-industrials-deal-year-award-ma-advisor/ Fri, 17 Nov 2017 13:39:08 +0000 http://www.watermill.com/?p=2207 News Summary On November 13, the Watermill Group won the 2017 M&A Advisor Awards Industrial Deal of the Year in the in the $50MM – $100MM category for its acquisition of Experi-Metal, Inc. The M&A Advisor Awards are widely respected as a pinnacle of achievement in the M&A industry. Watermill Group was recognized along with...

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News Summary

  • On November 13, the Watermill Group won the 2017 M&A Advisor Awards Industrial Deal of the Year in the in the $50MM – $100MM category for its acquisition of Experi-Metal, Inc.
  • The M&A Advisor Awards are widely respected as a pinnacle of achievement in the M&A industry.
  • Watermill Group was recognized along with its fellow dealmaking, restructuring, and financing nominees at the 2017 M&A Awards Gala in New York City.

Lexington, MA — November 17, 2017 — The Watermill Group, a strategy-driven private investment firm, today announced that it received the 2017 Industrials Deal of the Year Award in the $50MM-$100MM category from The M&A Advisor, the premier global network of M&A, turnaround and finance professionals. The award recognizes Watermill’s August 2016 acquisition of Experi-Metal, Inc. (EMI), a leading provider of prototyping and complex metalformed parts and assemblies for the automotive and aerospace industries.

The M&A Advisor Awards, widely respected as a pinnacle of achievement in the Mergers & Acquisitions industry, recognize excellence in dealmaking, restructuring and financing, and celebrate the contributions and achievements of leading firms and professionals. The 16th Annual M&A Advisor Awards Gala was held November 13th in New York City.

“We are honored that our acquisition of EMI was selected as the Industrials Deal of the Year,” said Steven E. Karol, Managing Partner and Founder of the Watermill Group. “We saw then – and continue to see now – tremendous opportunity in the rapidly changing automotive industry, which led us to double down in the space by acquiring EMI, our second major transaction in the sector in a 12-month span. The EMI acquisition is especially unique in how it complements our 2015 purchase of Quality Metalcraft (QMC). Now working collaboratively, the two businesses offer end-to-end prototype and niche production services to OEMs, automakers and new entrants to the automotive market. It’s a relationship that’s bringing EMI and QMC customers the creativity, speed and quality they need to compete in a market that’s undergoing massive disruption.”

Watermill is a third-generation family firm and one of the oldest independent sponsors in the industry. The firm is known for leading with strategy and collaborating closely with the management teams of the companies it owns to chart a new course for growth. Watermill excels at complicated transactions, whether they involve first time sellers, are in out-of-favor industries, contain complex deal dynamics or require experience leading significant operational improvement. By maintaining a laser focus on creating value, Watermill consistently delivers above average returns.

Watermill Group’s acquisition of Experi-Metal, Inc. was named a finalist in two additional categories: Private Equity Deal of the Year ($50MM-$100MM) and M&A Deal of the Year ($50MM-$75MM). For a detailed list of all of the Award Finalists for the 14th Annual M&A Advisor Awards, please click here.

The M&A Advisor is the preeminent organization recognizing excellence, honoring achievement, presenting thought leadership and facilitating connections among the world’s leading dealmaking professionals. The organization was founded in 1998 to offer insights and intelligence on M&A activities and over the past seventeen years, the organization has established the premier global network of M&A, turnaround and finance professionals.

About the Watermill Group
The Watermill Group is a strategy-driven private investment firm that helps companies achieve their full potential through strategic transformation. For more than three decades, Watermill has been acquiring, operating and improving companies. Watermill looks for businesses in which it can apply a unique combination of strategic insight and management expertise to re-imagine their future and drive growth.

 

Press Contact:

Joanna Clark

CXO Communication for Watermill

joanna@cxocommunication.com

207-712-1404

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Julia Karol and Sarah Bowen Announced As Winners of the 8th Annual Emerging Leaders Awards http://www.watermill.com/julia-karol-and-sarah-bowen-announced-as-winners-of-the-8th-annual-emerging-leaders-awards/ Fri, 22 Sep 2017 20:17:04 +0000 http://www.watermill.com/?p=2190 The M&A Advisor, renowned globally for its recognition of leading M&A, financing and turnaround professionals, created the Emerging Leader Awards to promote mentorship and professional development amongst the emerging business leaders. Watermill Group is pleased to share that Julia Karol and Sarah Bowen were both chosen for their accomplishments and expertise from a pool of...

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The M&A Advisor, renowned globally for its recognition of leading M&A, financing and turnaround professionals, created the Emerging Leader Awards to promote mentorship and professional development amongst the emerging business leaders.

Watermill Group is pleased to share that Julia Karol and Sarah Bowen were both chosen for their accomplishments and expertise from a pool of nominees by an independent judging panel of distinguished business leaders.

“The Annual M&A Advisor Emerging Leaders Awards was born as the 40 Under 40 Awards in the United States in 2010 to recognize and celebrate the achievements of young M&A, Financing and Turnaround professionals who had reached a significant level of success and made a notable contribution to their industry and community. With the expansion of the Emerging Leaders program to the United Kingdom, and Europe in 2016, the 2017 US award winners join a truly global network of outstanding young professionals,” said David Fergusson, President and Co-CEO of The M&A Advisor.

On Tuesday, September 19th, The M&A Advisor hosted a black tie Awards Gala at the New York Athletic Club in Manhattan to introduce the Emerging Leaders Award Winners to the business community and celebrate their achievements.

To view the complete list of this year Emerging Leaders Award Winners CLICK HERE.

THE M&A ADVISOR

Founded in 1998, The M&A Advisor was the first dedicated media company to offer insights and intelligence on mergers and acquisitions. As the world’s premier think tank and leadership organization for M&A, restructuring and corporate finance professionals, the firm provides a range of integrated services including: The M&A Advisor Forums and Summits; The M&A Advisor Market Intelligence; M&A.TV.; The M&A Advisor Live; The M&A Advisor Awards; and The M&A Advisor Connects. To learn more about the company’s Leadership Services visit www.maadvisor.com

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Reflections on my experience as a summer intern http://www.watermill.com/reflections-on-my-private-equity-internship/ Thu, 31 Aug 2017 20:03:16 +0000 http://www.watermill.com/?p=2183 With my internship coming to a close, I have started to reflect on my experiences so far and what I hope to achieve following my time at Watermill. A typical intern day runs from 9-5, allowing for some variation based on deal flow and the timing of meetings. Each week kicks off with an investment...

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With my internship coming to a close, I have started to reflect on my experiences so far and what I hope to achieve following my time at Watermill. A typical intern day runs from 9-5, allowing for some variation based on deal flow and the timing of meetings. Each week kicks off with an investment committee meeting Monday afternoon in which the team is updated on active deals and introduced to new deals by the interns. We read through company CIMs and prepare a deal summary to present to the team. Watermill invests in companies that have $50 to $500M in revenues, and a majority of the deals we look at are in the manufacturing industry, but we are always open to strategic opportunities in other industries as well. We learn about industries we didn’t know existed and companies that deal with products we wouldn’t expect to have an entire industry devoted to. One example is of a company that manufactured everything from organizational office supplies and chair mats, to bicycle reflectors and HVAC ducts. It is interesting to see the wide variety of products that a single company can be involved with.

Time as an intern is spent mostly looking at new deals and preparing summaries, but we also have the opportunity to complete valuation models, listen in on banker calls, perform due diligence, draft IOI letters, and conduct relevant research for members of the team. The entire team at Watermill is dedicated to ensuring that the interns have a positive and worthwhile experience while here. There are always new projects for us to tackle and information to learn.

Coming from a liberal arts background at Amherst College, I didn’t have the finance or accounting foundation that a business student has. Although it has been challenging to bring myself up to speed with the terms and basic concepts, the team is very open to showing us the ropes and making sure we understand the business. With this hands-on experience, I already feel more equipped to tackle the world of finance and bring these skills with me to my next challenge. At the very least, this internship has reinforced my interest in finance and desire to continue working in this industry, whether it be private equity, investment banking, or another avenue. I look forward to continuing this learning experience, positive that I will come away with valuable knowledge and skills.

By: Morgan Machiele, Watermill Summer 2017 Intern

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Steven Karol Featured in Mergers & Acquisitions Manufacturing Article http://www.watermill.com/watermill-groups-steven-karol-featured-in-mergers-and-acquisitions-manufacturing-article/ Tue, 02 May 2017 21:25:39 +0000 http://www.watermill.com/?p=2142 We’re delighted to share that Steven Karol, Managing Partner & Founder of Watermill Group, has been featured in the May 2017 Mergers & Acquisitions cover story on precision manufacturing. As Steven says in the piece, “We are bullish on manufacturing in North America. Advanced manufacturing is creating a lot of new opportunities in many different sectors for many...

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We’re delighted to share that Steven Karol, Managing Partner & Founder of Watermill Group, has been featured in the May 2017 Mergers & Acquisitions cover story on precision manufacturing. As Steven says in the piece, “We are bullish on manufacturing in North America. Advanced manufacturing is creating a lot of new opportunities in many different sectors for many different companies. I believe this trend will continue.”

The article includes insights into Process Automation, Automobiles, Aerospace, Medical Devices, and Precision Machining. Steven discusses Watermill Group portfolio companies Quality Metalcraft, Inc. and Experi-Metal Inc. in the automobile portion. Both companies are at the forefront of the advanced manufacturing trend within the automotive industry. Traditional automotive companies and new entrants to the field are all striving for innovation, which provides new opportunities for QMC and EMI. As Karol states, “As the auto industry continues to advance toward new drive trains and autonomous cars it will continue to require a very precise manufacturing process. QMC is ready to meet the needs of the expanding market.”

Read the full article here: 5 Reasons the Manufacturing Industry is Teeming with Deals

 

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The Shifting Spotlight on Independent Sponsors http://www.watermill.com/shifting-spotlight-independent-sponsors/ Mon, 21 Nov 2016 20:30:05 +0000 http://www.watermill.com/?p=2112 We hoped this day would come. The day when the broader market would wake to see the benefits and proven success of a deal-by-deal approach to private equity. At Watermill, our heritage as a nearly 40 year investor in private companies always pointed us toward a focus on improving company performance, as opposed to financial...

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We hoped this day would come. The day when the broader market would wake to see the benefits and proven success of a deal-by-deal approach to private equity. At Watermill, our heritage as a nearly 40 year investor in private companies always pointed us toward a focus on improving company performance, as opposed to financial engineering, as a way to drive top tier returns.

Ben Procter: fearless advocate for independent sponsors since 1987

Ben Procter: fearless advocate for independent sponsors since 1987

For years, we frequently faced questions regarding why we didn’t have a fund and no one ever seemed to understand that we didn’t want a fund. We always felt that it placed the emphasis on raising money rather than helping our companies succeed. And today, as we look around at an ever-expanding market of firms labeling themselves as “independent sponsors,” we are proud of what we’re seeing. The spotlight is appropriately shifting as eyes are opened to the fact that this model provides the alignment, investing style, transparency and flexibility that many investors now seek.

This shift in market focus is also bringing to light the importance of finding an equity partner who has grown humble through the experience of running a business and has developed a willingness to learn and the drive to work each deal on its own merits. As Steven Karol recently remarked, “Finance is the easy part of investing. What’s harder is entering a business, understanding its situation and developing a strategy that drives operational improvement and organizational harmony.”

Of course, traditional private investment companies will always remain. But, what we hope happens as more independent sponsors gain visibility is that new questions enter the minds of investors, management teams and investment banks:   Can this firm help this company succeed? What is their track record for doing so?

We hope those questions, and more like them, will soon replace, “why don’t you have a fund?”

— Benjamin Procter, Partner

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The Watermill Group Acquires EMI; Completes Second Key Investment in the Automotive Industry http://www.watermill.com/watermill-group-acquires-emi-completes-second-key-investment-automotive-industry/ Tue, 02 Aug 2016 21:47:09 +0000 http://www.watermill.com/?p=2037 The Watermill Group acquires Experi-Metal, Inc. (EMI), a leading provider of prototyping and complex metalformed parts and assemblies for the automotive, aerospace and other industries. The acquisition of EMI will complement Watermill’s current portfolio company, Quality Metalcraft (QMC), a leading producer of engineered structural metal components and assemblies. The acquisition marks Watermill’s second major transaction...

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  • The Watermill Group acquires Experi-Metal, Inc. (EMI), a leading provider of prototyping and complex metalformed parts and assemblies for the automotive, aerospace and other industries.
  • The acquisition of EMI will complement Watermill’s current portfolio company, Quality Metalcraft (QMC), a leading producer of engineered structural metal components and assemblies.
  • The acquisition marks Watermill’s second major transaction in the automotive industry in 12 months.
  • Lexington, MA and Sterling Heights, MI — August 2, 2016 — The Watermill Group, a strategy-driven private investment firm, completed its second key investment in the automotive industry with today’s acquisition of Experi-Metal, Inc. (EMI), a leading provider of prototyping and complex metalformed parts and assemblies for the automotive, aerospace and other industries. EMI will complement its Watermill sister company, Quality Metalcraft (QMC), together offering end-to-end prototype and niche production services to OEMs, automakers and new entrants to the automotive market 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 E. 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.”

    EMI specializes in highly engineered, metalformed prototypes, sub-assemblies, full Body-In-White (BIW) assemblies and bridge production, with a proficiency in designs that are complex in geometry and often utilize advanced materials. A broad range of blue chip and start-up customers across automotive, aerospace, defense and the alternative energy sectors value EMI’s attention to excellence; products made by EMI pass the most rigorous quality, performance and safety standards.

    “We are pleased to join the Watermill family and support our innovative, technology-driven manufacturing customers with increased prototyping and specialty production requirements as they strive to remain on the leading edge,” stated Gerry King, President, EMI, who will also take on the role of head of protoype sales for EMI and QMC. “With QMC, our combined technical expertise, ‘get it done’ approach, and end-to-end services will enable us to meet the intensifying demand of automakers for design, customizability and speed-to-market.”

    “By working in close collaboration with EMI, we will be able to better support the unique needs of each customer going forward,” stated Kurt Saldana, CEO, QMC, who will serve as chief executive at EMI. “QMC’s fast, innovative solutions and reliable service are only enhanced while working alongside EMI, and we look forward to together helping our customers stay on top of the trends disrupting the markets of human mobility.”

    Cerberus Business Finance and the Business Credit Division of PNC Bank, N.A. are lenders in the transaction and Cowen & Company served as Sole Debt Placement Agent. Goodwin Procter LLP provided legal counsel to Watermill. Quarton International represented EMI.

    About Experi-Metal, Inc. (EMI)

    Headquartered in Sterling Heights, Michigan, Experi-Metal, Inc. (EMI) is a leading provider of highly engineered, metalformed prototypes, sub-assemblies, full Body-In-White (BIW) assemblies and bridge production in the automotive, aerospace, defense and alternative energy industries. Since 1959, customers have relied on EMI’s attention to excellence and dedication to continuous improvement. As advances in technology progress, EMI’s standards for quality, performance and safety enable its customers to remain on the leading edge.

    About Quality Metalcraft (QMC)

    Founded in 1964, Quality Metalcraft (QMC) is a premium, niche provider of highly engineered, metal formed assemblies serving a wide range of transportation industries, including automotive, aerospace and defense, heavy trucking and construction equipment. The company specializes in advanced prototyping, in-house tooling, low-to-medium volume production, and factory assist services. Based in Livonia, Michigan, QMC is a highly technical organization with an adaptable, flexible manufacturing footprint.

    About the Watermill Group

    The Watermill Group is a strategy-driven private investment firm that helps companies achieve their full potential through strategic transformation. For more than three decades, Watermill has been acquiring, operating and improving companies. Watermill looks for businesses in which it can apply a unique combination of strategic insight and management expertise to re-imagine their future and drive growth.

    Press Contact:

    Joanna Clark

    CXO Communication for Watermill

    207-712-1404

    joanna@cxocommunication.com

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    The Watermill Group Acquires Quality Metalcraft Inc. http://www.watermill.com/the-watermill-group-acquires-quality-metalcraft-inc/ http://www.watermill.com/the-watermill-group-acquires-quality-metalcraft-inc/#comments Wed, 01 Jul 2015 13:40:00 +0000 http://www.watermill.com/?p=1813 The Watermill Group acquires Quality Metalcraft, Inc. (QMC), a leading producer of engineered structural metal components and assemblies, providing advanced prototype, low-to-medium volume production and factory assist services to automotive and other specialty vehicle industries. Watermill will help QMC develop a long term strategy to deepen the company’s unparalleled commitment to service, while also driving...

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  • The Watermill Group acquires Quality Metalcraft, Inc. (QMC), a leading producer of engineered structural metal components and assemblies, providing advanced prototype, low-to-medium volume production and factory assist services to automotive and other specialty vehicle industries.
  • Watermill will help QMC develop a long term strategy to deepen the company’s unparalleled commitment to service, while also driving operational improvements throughout the organization.
  • The agreement with QMC marks Watermill’s third transaction in less than two months.
  • Lexington, MA and Livonia, MI — July 1, 2015 — The Watermill Group, a strategy-driven private investment firm, today announced the acquisition of Quality Metalcraft, Inc. (QMC), a leading producer of engineered structural metal components and assemblies, providing advanced prototype, low-to-medium volume production and factory assist services to automotive and other specialty vehicle industries. As a go-to source for the world’s major manufacturers when quick, quality solutions are needed, QMC offers a range of capabilities, technologies and services to provide the optimal production process for any project.

    “We have been impressed with QMC’s ability to deliver its products quickly and with exceptional service levels, without compromising quality or precision. Our vision is to help QMC strategically expand these capabilities to enable their customers to bring better designed, higher quality and safer vehicles to market,” stated Steven E. Karol, Managing Partner and Founder of The Watermill Group. “We are looking forward to bringing Watermill’s strategy-driven approach to QMC to help them realize their full potential.”

    By providing a rare combination of advanced tooling, robotic flexible manufacturing lines and a recent investment in automated stamping, QMC has forged longstanding relationships with leading OEMs and Tier-1 suppliers in diverse industries. In the automotive industry, QMC has differentiated itself with a focus on prototyping and by providing low-to-medium volume production solutions for automakers’ niche, derivative, and limited-edition vehicles. QMC is uniquely suited to handle demanding prototyping and design challenges and is known for utilizing a wide range of technologies to ensure consistency from product to product even at prototype volumes. These innovative assets position QMC as one of the few suppliers capable of delivering full body-in-white prototypes used in crash testing and other safety and design evaluation programs.

    “In the last decade, QMC has built the platform and infrastructure for dramatic growth, through strategic hires and focused investments in robotics, automation and engineering,” stated Kurt Saldana, CEO of QMC. “We’re eager to bolster that growth with Watermill’s support, and to continue to deliver the products and services that our market-leading customers value so greatly.”

    Watermill advisor David Robinson will serve as the Chairman of QMC, and added: “Watermill will help QMC develop a long term strategy to deepen the company’s unparalleled commitment to service, while also driving operational improvements throughout the organization. Together, Watermill and QMC management will further strengthen the speed and quality of the quick turn work that is so highly valued by QMC’s leading OEM customers.”

    Lenders in the transaction, which closed on June 30, 2015, are PNC Business Credit and Medley Capital. Goodwin Procter LLP provided legal counsel to Watermill. Quarton Partners represented the seller.

    The QMC acquisition marks Watermill’s third transaction in less than two months, following the sale of Global Tubes to AMETEK, Inc. on May 8 and the acquisition of Mountain Molding, LLC by Watermill’s portfolio company, Tenere Inc., on May 4.

    About The Watermill Group
    The Watermill Group is a strategy-driven private investment firm that helps companies achieve their full potential through strategic transformation. For more than three decades, Watermill has been acquiring, operating and improving companies. Watermill looks for businesses in which it can apply a unique combination of strategic insight and management expertise to re-imagine their future and drive growth.

    About QMC
    Founded in 1964, Quality Metalcraft, Inc. (QMC) is a premium, niche provider of highly engineered, metal formed assemblies serving a wide range of transportation industries, including automotive, aerospace and defense, heavy trucking and construction equipment. The company specializes in advanced prototyping, in-house tooling, low-to-medium volume production, and factory assist services. Based in Livonia, Michigan, QMC is a highly technical organization with an adaptable, flexible manufacturing footprint.

    Press Contact:
    Sandy George
    CXO Communication for Watermill
    617-413-6126
    sandy@cxocommunication.com

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    Partner Profile: Meet Watermill Group’s Bob Ackerman http://www.watermill.com/partner-profile-meet-watermill-groups-bob-ackerman/ Fri, 26 Jun 2015 15:48:25 +0000 http://www.watermill.com/?p=1807 Providing internships to students interested in the private equity industry is an important part of the Watermill culture. Recently a few of our interns had the opportunity to sit down with Bob for an interview. Enjoy! How does your prior experience running Watermill Group portfolio companies help you in your role as a partner? Working...

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    Providing internships to students interested in the private equity industry is an important part of the Watermill culture. Recently a few of our interns had the opportunity to sit down with Bob for an interview. Enjoy!

    How does your prior experience running Watermill Group portfolio companies help you in your role as a partner?

    Working as a CEO for twenty years has invaluable in my current role overseeing portfolio companies. Having been a CEO enables me to think through operating problems I run into when Watermill Group acquires new companies. Also, it helps to hone my ability to think through the strategic implications of markets and products and how they are put together.

    From your experience in private equity and other fields over the years, how have you seen the industry evolve?

    When Watermill Group started, private equity was just gathering steam. There had been leveraged buyouts in the 80s and conglomerates before then, and there were also mergers and acquisitions, but you didn’t have investment groups buying companies on behalf of investors, so you didn’t have the organized PE world that exists now. It has become much more professionalized. In today’s environment, things are much more rigorous.

    The financing world has grown up in two ways: one is asset-based lending, which is the way we got the top/liability part of the balance sheet done, and two is the growth in mezzanine/sub debt, which really didn’t exist twenty years ago. If you wanted long-term money, you went to insurance companies or you went to Wall Street, you didn’t go to pools of money that were there to finance longer term debt.

    Do you have a favorite deal?

    Some came very, very early in my career, such as during the first paper company that I ran. We had basically captured 100% of the elementary school textbook cover market, which had been cloth and then went to Tyvek before we converted it to saturated paper. That was thrilling because we were replacing another commodity, because what we had to offer, from a customer’s point of view, was of greater value: a better product at a reasonable price. All of these deals have had something to value. You learn more from your mistakes than from what went right, but they are each a part of the story.

    When you look at new acquisitions or portfolio companies, what do you like to focus on?

    I think when you can find something in a company that others haven’t seen, or an opportunity that may have been overlooked, that’s exciting. Take our Global Tubes business, comprised of Superior Tube and Fine Tubes, for example. They were precision tube manufacturers, one in Europe and one in the U.S., and the former owner had kept them apart, and they did sort of the same things, but not quite, and they were in some of the same industries, but not entirely. You look at this and say, “gee, if you could straighten out the operations in each case, and they each had some difficult issues, and built a global organization across the markets they share, and build out the ones where they each hadn’t been before, that’s an exciting opportunity.” You could really develop a global enterprise that hadn’t been there before and once you got into it, it was quite thrilling to put that together and see it come to life. All Watermill deals have something special like that.

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