Private Equity Firm Buys Majority Stake in Kamps


Private equity interest in the pallet industry continues to surface. One private equity firm, Freeman Spogli & Company, today announced purchasing a majority share in Grand Rapids, Michigan based Kamps, Inc. Founder and CEO Bernie Kamps will continue to lead the Company and remains a significant shareholder. Other members of the Company’s management team, including President Mitchell Kamps, Chief Corporate Officer Brad Rietema, VP of Northern Operations Justin Kamps and CFO Phil Minster also participated in the transaction.  Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Kamps is one of the largest pallet management service providers in North America.  Founded in 1973 by CEO Bernie Kamps, the Company provides nationwide pallet management services through a network of 25 company-owned and operated facilities and commercial partnerships with 60+ national pallet partners.  Pallet management and on-site services represent the entire suite of customized services needed to serve a customer’s pallet management needs and include the acquisition, disposition, sorting, repair, and return of pallets as well as the management of a customer’s pallet inventory within its facility network. Kamps manages over 100 million pallets annually and serves over 1,800 customers with recurring needs for pallet management services in diverse end markets including the e-commerce, retail, food & beverage, industrial, logistics and distribution industries. 

“We are excited to announce our partnership with Kamps, 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. We look forward to partnering with them and their exceptional management team during this next phase of the Company’s growth.”

CEO Bernie Kamps added, “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.”

Morgan, Lewis and Bockius LLP acted as the legal advisor to Freeman Spogli & Company.  Miller, Johnson, Snell & Cummiskey, P.L.C. acted as the legal advisor to the Company. Lincoln International acted as lead financial advisor to the Company.  Debt financing for the acquisition was provided by Oaktree Capital Management, L.P., Adams Street Partners, LLC, and Comerica, Inc.