fbpx
Published in Manufacturing
An employee at a Realm Companies location works on a custom pallet. An employee at a Realm Companies location works on a custom pallet. COURTESY OF KAMPS INC.

Kamps Inc. continues buying spree with strategic acquisition of Iowa pallet company

BY Thursday, November 10, 2022 03:20pm

WALKER — Pallet solutions firm Kamps Inc. is making a strategic deal to acquire Newton, Iowa-based Realm Companies LLC to bolster its presence in the Midwest and expand its service capabilities. 

The private equity-backed Realm Companies offers a range of pallet manufacturing, pallet recovery and pallet recycling services across a five-state service area including Iowa, Kansas, Illinois, Missouri, and New Jersey. The firm also serves as the parent company to WestWind Logistics LLC, a freight services, reverse logistics, and on-site pallet services provider. 

Realm also makes mulch and animal bedding. 

All 180 employees of Realm Companies and WestWind Logistics will join the Kamps Inc. organization as part of the deal, which is the company’s fifth strategic acquisition of 2022. 

As well, the acquisition will add Realm Companies’ nine warehouse and manufacturing sites and 900 trailers.

The deal for Realm and WestWind will “significantly bolster our product and service capabilities in the Midwest,” Kamps Inc. President Mitchell Kamps said in a statement. 

“The additional products and services we have gained will also allow us to now support our valuable customer base with even more critical supply chain services — delivered the Kamps way,” he said. 

Realm Companies founder Chris Barton will also join the Kamps Inc. team as part of the deal. Barton established Realm Companies in 1998 as a warehousing firm that expanded into pallet recycling and later became a large provider of pallet, crates, and logistics solutions. The company serves a range of blue-chip customers in the food and agriculture, building products, packaging and equipment manufacturing industries. 

In November 2020, Realm sold to Great Range Capital, a Mission Woods, Mo.-based private equity firm, and later made a strategic acquisition of WestWind Logistics, a Des Moines, Iowa-based competitor, to transform into a “comprehensive supply chain solutions provider.” 

“This 20-plus year journey, and new beginning, has been made possible due to the people I’ve been so blessed and fortunate to work with,” Barton stated. “Kamps is the best in the business and we are excited to join a team that places such an emphasis on customer service.”

With the deal, the private equity-backed Kamps Inc. now has 55 locations, nearly 8,000 trailers and more than 3,700 employees. 

The Realm Companies acquisition is the 14th deal Kamps Inc. has completed since 2020 when the company became majority owned by Los Angeles, Calif.-based private equity firm Freeman Spogli & Co. In 2021, Kamps Inc. completed six acquisitions, which earned President Mitchell Kamps honors as the MiBiz Dealmaker of the Year in the corporate executive category. 

“The addition of Realm bolsters Kamps’ existing footprint in the Iowa market and reaffirms the company’s status as the national leader in providing the highest levels of service to customers,” Freeman Spogli President and COO Jon Ralph said in a statement. 

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. 

Charlotte, N.C.-based investment banking firm BlackArch Partners LLC, which has a specialty in pallet manufacturers, advised Realm Companies in the deal.

According to a report in trade publication Pallet Enterprise, consolidation has been driving deals in the pallet industry since 2020 and shows no signs of slowing down soon. The report attributed the frenzy of M&A to companies seeking opportunities “to secure new accounts, seize control of cores and find talented people in a dry labor market. The right fit can help these mega recyclers fill holes in their network.” 

In addition to strategic acquisitions, Kamps Inc. also continues to grow organically. The company last month opened a 55,000-square-foot facility in Bloomfield, Conn. that specializes in custom pallet manufacturing and wooden pallet recycling. 

Kamps Inc. plans to hire 30 people to staff the new facility, which will allow the company to provide increased support to the “robust business sectors and industries” in Connecticut, where it has a base of current customers, according to a statement. The company said the facility was the fourth it has added since August. 

“The decision to open the Bloomfield plant was mainly due to the current business we have already accumulated in the area,” Dominick Davi, Northeast regional director of sales and operations for Kamps Inc., said in a statement. “We are excited to provide more localized support for our current customers in the market, while continuing to expand and grow our customer-base. This was also an opportunity for us to bring great paying jobs to the area.”

Read 1462 times
SUBSCRIBE TO MIBIZ TODAY FOR WEST MICHIGAN’S FINEST BUSINESS NEWS REPORTING >