New York, NY (December 15, 2003) -- KPS Special Situations Fund announced today the sale of NFIL Holdings, Inc. to Transit Holdings, Inc., a company formed by Harvest Partners Fund [iv]. Through its subsidiary, New Flyer Industries Ltd., the company is the largest manufacturer of transit buses in North America.
The sale is expected to close in January 2004. Upon completion of the sale, KPS will return to its limited partners a significant multiple of their capital invested in the transaction over a 20 month investment period.
David Shapiro, a Managing Principal of KPS, credited the management and employees of New Flyer who successfully implemented a dramatic business turnaround over the last two years. “New Flyer is now clearly positioned as the leading transit bus manufacturer in North America,” Mr. Shapiro said. “Successful turnarounds are at the core of the KPS investment strategy. We are pleased that our partnership with Jan den Oudsten, the founder of New Flyer; the Province of Manitoba and its Premier, Gary Doer; and the company’s skilled workforce has reached such a happy conclusion.”
The transaction represents a change in ownership but not a change in leadership or direction. According to Mr. Shapiro, “The strong management team led by John Marinucci is remaining entirely intact, and senior management is making a significant investment in the company alongside Harvest Partners. We are pleased to leave the business in the hands of the excellent management team and a financial sponsor like Harvest Partners that has significant experience taking strong franchises like New Flyer to a new level of business excellence. We wish them great success in the future.”
In March 2002, KPS invested approximately $28 million of equity in New Flyer for a controlling interest in the Company. The KPS investment was the catalyst for a financial and operating restructuring that involved the support of the company’s banks, the Province of Manitoba, the Communications Worker of America (CWA), the Canadian Autoworkers Union (CAW) and the company’s key suppliers.
About New Flyer Industries, Ltd.
New Flyer is headquartered in Winnipeg, Manitoba and has two additional production facilities in St. Cloud and Crookston, Minnesota. The company is the largest manufacturer of transit buses in North America. New Flyer’s innovative low-floor and articulated buses are operated by public transit authorities in New York, Los Angeles, Vancouver, Atlanta, Seattle and many other major cities in the United States and Canada.
The KPS Special Situations Funds are a family of private equity funds focused on constructive investing in restructurings, turnarounds and other special situations. KPS purchases operating assets out of bankruptcy; establishes stand-alone entities to operate divested assets; and recapitalizes highly leveraged public and private companies. KPS invests its capital after developing detailed plans for an operating and financial restructuring.
The KPS investment strategy and information about its portfolio companies can be found at www.kpsfund.com.