Spun Off from American Axle, Tier 1 Auto Supplier Grede in Southfield Acquires Certain Assets From Renaissance Manufacturing Group

Southfield-based Grede, a multi-faceted manufacturer of ductile, gray, and specialty iron castings and machined components for automotive, commercial vehicle, and industrial markets, expands strategic growth.
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Robots at Grede
Southfield’s Grede today announced it has purchased certain assets of Renaissance Manufacturing Group (RMG) Waukesha. // Photo courtesy of Grede

Southfield-based Grede, a multi-faceted manufacturer of ductile, gray, and specialty iron castings and machined components for automotive, commercial vehicle, and industrial markets, today announced it has purchased certain assets of Renaissance Manufacturing Group (RMG) Waukesha.

Grede is an independent company acquired in late 2019 by Gamut Capital Management from American Axle and Manufacturing Holdings, Inc. The terms of the RMG transaction were not disclosed.

Grede, a Tier 1 auto supplier, has approximately 3,800 employees across 10 facilities in Michigan, Alabama, Indiana, Minnesota, North Carolina, and Wisconsin. Grede, founded in 1920 when William J. Grede purchased Liberty Foundry near Milwaukee, intends to reallocate work currently done at RMG’s Waukesha facility among its existing plants in Browntown, Liberty, and Reedsburg, Wisc., and Biscoe, N.C.

“Grede is well capitalized and poised for growth within a fragmented and distressed foundry supply base, and this strategic acquisition strengthens our position in the castings industry,” says Cary Wood, CEO of Grede. “This investment further brings us new customers and aligns with the markets we are serving while expanding the products and materials we produce.”

Wood adds the acquisition helps Grede move closer toward its goal of balancing its portfolio equally among the automotive, commercial vehicle, and industrial markets.

RMG acquired the Waukesha foundry from Navistar International Corp. in May 2015. Primarily a ductile iron operation since the early 1980s, the facility also produces austempered ductile iron, high-temperature, and abrasion-resistant ferrous alloys and compacted graphite iron. RMG Waukesha, which generated approximately $25 million in revenue in 2019, produces components for light and heavy truck, combustion engine, railroad, construction, agricultural, and pump/compressor manufacturing. RMG will continue to operate its other two locations in Grafton, Wisc., and Anniston, Ala.

Grede has a 100-year history as an industry leader in iron casting and is one of few foundry groups in North America with in-house machining operations and is a full-service supplier of fully machined castings.

“Grede is uniquely equipped to meet demand for high-quality casting products in a cost-conscious market,” Wood says. “We also have enough capacity to support added business that will come from on-shoring initiatives to reduce supply-chain risk and we’re positioned to help our customers manage other risk factors and provide long-term solutions.”

“The iron castings market is very fragmented and further consolidation is likely to occur due to stress in the broader market,” Wood adds. “Due to the strength of its balance sheet, Grede expects to continue to grow its portfolio of assets to better serve its customer base and is engaged in strategic dialogue with multiple parties.”

Grede offers complete precision machining and finishing services, as well as the assembly of diverse components into complete systems.

“We are confident that through our close partnership with Grede and its agile and committed management team, the company is well positioned to execute on more transactions like RMG,” says Jordan Zaken, founding partner of Gamut. “With a strong capital structure, Grede is able to reinvest in its facilities and look for strategic acquisitions to strengthen its market position and continue to meet its customers’ needs.”

Gamut Capital Management is a New York-based private investment firm managing $1.2 billion in assets focused on the middle markets. Gamut was founded in 2015 by Stan Parker and Zaken, who have together have more than 35 years of combined private equity investing experience. Gamut’s senior deal professionals have executed investments in over 30 companies in North America and Europe.

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