May, 2011 - Windjammer Named "2011 Middle Market Firm of the Year: North America"
Windjammer Capital Investors is pleased to announce it has been named "MIDDLE MARKET FIRM OF THE YEAR: NORTH AMERICA" by DealMakers Monthly Magazine. In May, DealMakers Monthly magazine released its 2011 DealMakers Monthly Private Equity Awards which recognizes leading private equity firms within various areas of specialization and across various geographical regions. Over 23,000 votes were cast by DealMakers Monthly readership to draw the results of the poll.
Partnering With Management To Create Value
Windjammer Capital Investors is a private equity firm focused on control and non-control investments in middle market companies. Since its inception in 1990, Windjammer has managed over $1.2 Billion in committed capital and invested in 44 companies operating in a broad cross section of manufacturing, distribution and service industries. The firm invests in leading business platforms that typically generate EBITDA between $8 and $40 Million. Windjammer has the ability to provide tailored equity and mezzanine capital solutions for its platform investments and in many of its buyout opportunities it can speak for all the equity and subordinated debt required to close on a transaction.
Windjammer invests in partnership with proven management teams where it can assist well positioned businesses that have strong underlying characteristics including a combination of substantial and defensible market share, near-term identifiable growth, mission critical products or services, strong leadership, and a history of consistent earnings. In addition to providing a patient capital structure and a flexible balance sheet necessary to meet all the capital requirements below the senior debt layer, Windjammer continues to have a strong focus on generating shareholder value by assisting management teams in identifying and implementing strategic and operationally-centered value added initiatives. Over the years, the Windjammer investment team, complimented by a unique network of seasoned operating executives and consultants, has assisted management teams in optimizing earnings growth through various tailored initiatives, spanning lean and six-sigma, strategic procurement and overseas sourcing, capacity expansion, enterprise resource planning, new product introductions, and acquisitions.
Recent examples of a "winning" non-control investment at Windjammer include MacLean Power Systems (MPS), a market leader in producing ceramic capacitors, surge arrestors and metal components used in the electrical transmission and distribution grid. Windjammer worked with the MacLean family and the management team to identify acquisitions as well as to support the organic growth of the company with patient capital. "Windjammer identified a great ‘tuck-in' for the company, provided additional capital at that time and management did a fantastic job of integrating the acquisition into MPS", said Bob Bartholomew, Chairman and Managing Principal. MPS grew quite nicely during an eight year hold for Windjammer. At exit in 2010, Windjammer generated $128 Million back on a $31 Million investment combining preferred equity and subordinated debt.
As a case study in the buyout realm, Windjammer acquired a controlling interest in ST Specialty Foods (ST), a leading producer of private label macaroni and cheese and shelf stable side pasta dishes at the end of 2008 during the height of the financial market crisis. "Our ability to provide all the common stock and subordinated debt capital necessary to consummate the ST acquisition during a very challenging time in the capital marketplace was one of the key factors in our winning the deal. We believed the company was very well positioned in an attractive private label food category that would perform well during the economic downturn", stated Costa Littas, Managing Principal. The management team at ST was a great partner and executed on a targeted set of key initiatives doubling the size of one of their key production facilities and landing additional important customers, such as Kroger and Walmart. Ultimately, Windjammer was approached by TreeHouse Foods, a publicly traded food business, and negotiated the sale of the business in October, 2010. Another nice win for Windjammer which generated over $140 Million in cash to date, from its $62 Million overall investment in ST.
The balance of the Windjammer portfolio is also performing well with strong comps year-over-year throughout the majority of its portfolio companies. These results were achieved during a tough 2009 and a weak 2010 economy. "It's rewarding to see our investment strategy delivering strong results to our Limited Partners after such challenging times", says Costa. "We feel a strong fiduciary responsibility to deliver excellent results to our Limited Partners, many of them represent retirees of state and private pension plans, as well as university endowments and insurance companies working to provide better health services to people. The firm's goal is to be a Reliable and Value Added Partner to both our portfolio companies and to our Limited Partners with the overriding objective of delivering consistent and attractive results", added Bob.
With fully-staffed offices in both Newport Beach, California and Waltham, Massachusetts, Windjammer provides the resources of a national firm, while also supplying the personal contact of a local partner. Over its twenty-year history, Windjammer has invested over $944 Million in 47 companies across a broad range of industries in addition to supporting more than 25 add-on acquisitions for its portfolio companies. It is currently investing out of its Windjammer Senior Equity Fund III, L.P., a $575 Million fund which it successfully closed on in July of 2006, and is backed by a diverse group of world class institutional investors, including some of the largest private and public pension funds, insurance companies and investment banks in the United States and Europe. As a private equity firm investing capital on behalf of prominent financial institutions, Windjammer continues to maintain its core investment philosophy of maximizing shareholder value combined with an emphasis on capital preservation.