Harris Williams & Co. Advises Niagara LaSalle Corporation in its Sale to Optima Specialty Steel, Inc.

Strategic Buyer Appetite Remains Strong for Leading Middle Market Companies
December 6, 2011

Harris Williams & Co., a premier middle market investment bank, announces that Niagara LaSalle Corporation (Niagara LaSalle) has been acquired by strategic buyer Optima Specialty Steel, Inc.  Niagara LaSalle is a portfolio company of Kohlberg & Company, LLC, a leading U.S. private equity firm. Harris Williams & Co. acted as the exclusive advisor to Niagara LaSalle. The transaction closed on December 5, 2011 and was led by Mike Hogan, Ned Valentine, John Arendale, Dave Kennedy and Doug Kinard from the firm’s Richmond office along with Jeremy Eberlein from the firm’s Cleveland office.

Niagara LaSalle is North America’s largest independent manufacturer of high quality engineered cold finished steel bars, serving a broad range of customers in diverse end markets including automotive, energy, agriculture, and industrial equipment.  As a result of the transaction, Niagara LaSalle will become a significant part of Optima Specialty Steel along with Optima Specialty Steel’s wholly-owned subsidiary Michigan Seamless Tube, LLC, a leading independent manufacturer of value-added precision-tolerance, cold drawn seamless tubes.  

“Niagara LaSalle is the market leader in the cold finished steel bar industry with a track record of product innovation and unmatched customer service, which attracted strong interest from leading domestic and international steel processors.  Its acquisition by Optima Specialty Steel will further strengthen its current market position and enhance its opportunity to continue to grow.  The transaction exemplifies the opportunities that are available with the right strategic partner for a leader in a targeted market,” said Mike Hogan, a managing director at Harris Williams & Co.

“We have known the Kohlberg team for many years, and are delighted to have represented them on this transaction.  We are pleased to have found a partner for Niagara LaSalle that shares its vision for the future, and we look forward to watching as the company expands going forward,” said John Arendale, a director at Harris Williams & Co.  

Kohlberg & Company, LLC is a leading private equity firm that invests in middle market companies.  Since its inception in 1987, Kohlberg has completed 56 platform investments and 109 add-on acquisitions, with an aggregate transaction value of approximately $8 billion.

Optima Specialty Steel, Inc. is a subsidiary of Optima Acquisitions, LLC, and a U.S.-based investment firm with affiliated holdings in steel, ferroalloys, mining, real-estate and other industries. Current affiliated companies in the steel and metals industry include Michigan Seamless Tube, LCC, Warren Steel Holdings, LLC, Steel Rolling Holdings, Inc., CC Metals & Alloys, LLC, Felman Production, Inc. and Felman Trading, Inc.