published Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

Hitachi Metals buys Waupaca Foundry, Inc.

People work at the Waupaca plant in Etowah, Tenn., in 2004.
People work at the Waupaca plant in Etowah, Tenn., in 2004.

A Japanese automotive supplier is buying Waupaca Foundry, Inc., the world’s largest producer of ductile iron and gray iron castings which operates a foundry in Etowah, Tenn.

Hitachi Metals, Ltd. said today it has signed an agreement to acquire Waupaca from its current owner, KPS Capital Partners, LP (KPS), a New York-based private-equity firm that has built up Waupaca over the past two years.. Terms of the sale were not announced.

Since KPS bought the company in June 2012, Waupaca expanded at all six foundries and more than 200 new jobs have been added. Waupaca's foundry in Etowah was built in 2001, shut down in 2010 and reopened and expanded in 2011.

“This investment by Hitachi Metals in Waupaca Foundry’s world-class facilities and capabilities is a validation of what we have accomplished over the past two years and signals a strong commitment to manufacturing and the foundry industry in the United States," said Gary Gigante, president and CEO of Waupaca Foundry. "Partnering with Hitachi Metals will bring Waupaca Foundry significant global strength that will help us drive continued expansion."

Waupaca Foundry employs approximately 3,900 people and has foundry operations in Tennessee, Wisconsin and Indiana. The foundry serves customers in the automotive, commercial truck, agriculture, construction, and other industrial markets.

Hitachi Metals was founded in 1910 as the Tobata Foundry and has a strong tradition in iron casting production, metal technology, and machining services. The corporation operates foundries the United States, Japan, Korea and India, and is headquartered in Japan.

The closing of the sale is expected in the fourth quarter of 2014.

about Dave Flessner...

Dave Flessner is the business editor for the Times Free Press. A journalist for 35 years, Dave has been business editor and projects editor for the Chattanooga Times Free Press, city editor for The Chattanooga Times, business and county reporter for the Chattanooga Times, correspondent for the Lansing State Journal and Ingham County News in Michigan, staff writer for the Hastings Daily Tribune in Nebraska, and news director for WCBN-FM in Michigan. Dave, a native ...

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