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Kamps Inc. sells majority stake to LA private equity firm COURTESY PHOTO

Kamps Inc. sells majority stake to LA private equity firm

BY MiBiz Staff Thursday, January 16, 2020 12:02pm

GRAND RAPIDS — Pallet management firm Kamps Inc. has sold a majority interest to Los Angeles, Calif.-based private equity firm Freeman Spogli & Co.

Founder and CEO Bernie Kamps continues to lead the company and remains a significant shareholder. Other members of Kamps’ management team, including President Mitchell Kamps, Chief Corporate Officer Brad Rietema, VP of Northern Operations Justin Kamps and CFO Phil Minster, participated in the transaction. 

Founded in 1973, Kamps provides nationwide pallet management services through a network of 25 company-owned and operated facilities and commercial partnerships. The company manages more than 100 million pallets annually for more than 1,800 customers in markets such as the e-commerce, retail, food and beverage, industrial, logistics and distribution industries.

“We are thrilled to partner with Freeman Spogli, whose extensive expertise in the value-added distribution sector will be an invaluable resource to the company as we continue to pursue strategic initiatives in new and existing markets and capitalize on our multiple growth opportunities,” Bernie Kamps said in a statement.

Freeman Spogli invests along with management in consumer and distribution companies in the United States. Since forming 1983, Freeman Spogli has invested more than $4.7 billion in 63 portfolio companies with an aggregate transaction value of over $24 billion.

In Kamps, the private equity firm invested in a company “whose best-in-class service and high-quality operations have contributed to the company’s remarkable success over the last 46 years,” said Jon Ralph, a partner at Freeman Spogli.

“The Kamps family has successfully grown the company from a small regional operation to a recognized national competitor in the pallet management sector,” Ralph said.

Miller, Johnson, Snell & Cummiskey PLC in Grand Rapids acted as the legal adviser to Kamps, and Lincoln International was lead financial adviser. 

Morgan, Lewis and Bockius LLP served as the legal adviser to Freeman Spogli. Debt financing for the acquisition was provided by Oaktree Capital Management L.P., Adams Street Partners LLC, and Comerica Inc.

Terms of the deal were undisclosed.

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