Cleveland, OH – October 30, 2007 – Key Principal Partners (KPP), a $1 billion private equity and mezzanine firm, announced today an investment of $40 million in subordinated debt in Western Express to facilitate its acquisition of Smithway Motor Xpress.
“We’re very pleased to assist Western Express in its acquisition of Smithway,” said Leland Lewis, Managing Partner at KPP. “Western Express has expanded significantly over the past several years through strategic acquisitions like this one, and we’re confident that the company is well positioned for continued growth.”
“KPP was a solid financial partner and a key contributor to successfully completing our largest acquisition to date,” said Wayne Wise, President and Chief Executive Officer of Western. “We appreciated their professionalism and practiced approach despite a volatile financial market.”
Western Express, Inc. is a truckload carrier founded in 1991 by Wayne Wise. The company has quickly grown to become a top-15 truckload carrier in the United States through a combination of internal growth and strategic acquisitions.
Smithway Motor Xpress, based in Fort Dodge, Iowa, is a premier flatbed and van truckload carrier that serves a growing, diversified base of customers primarily in the building materials, steel, heavy equipment and other industries.
“We look forward to developing a strong and rewarding relationship with Western Express,” added Sean Mooney, Vice President at KPP.
About Key Principal Partners
Key Principal Partners (KPP) is a nationally recognized private investment firm providing capital to middle market companies throughout North America. KPP utilizes mezzanine and equity capital to fund the growth, buyout, refinancing or acquisition of profitable companies. KPP’s flexible approach to structuring investments does not require control of companies. KPP has over $1 billion in capital under management and can invest $7 million to $40 million in companies with at least $20 million in revenue. Headquartered in Cleveland, KPP is affiliated with KeyCorp, and has offices in Greenwich and San Francisco.
Cleveland-based KeyCorp is one of the nation’s largest bank-based financial services companies, with assets of approximately $94 billion. Key companies provide investment management, retail and commercial banking, consumer finance, and investment banking products and services to individuals and companies throughout the United States and, for certain businesses, internationally. For more information, visit www.Key.com.