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Acquisitions, merger create $200M Fort Worth-based business

Private equity firm D Cubed Group LLC has acquired Hill Phoenix from Dover Corp. and Kysor Panel Systems from The Manitowoc Company Inc. and will merge the two companies to create a new $200 million company with 600 employees based in Fort Worth.

Hill Phoenix is a leading manufacturer of display cases, specialty products, refrigeration and power systems, walk-ins and services and Kysor Panel has a similar focus, manufacturing walk-in coolers, walk-in freezers, display coolers and floral coolers for supermarkets and convenience stores.

“This transaction recognizes the strength of two industry leaders with similar product lines and customer-oriented sensibilities,” said Glenn Kaufman, managing director of D Cubed, who has been involved with the retail and foodservice industries for almost 20 years. “The walk-in industry has never had a singularly focused and independent company with the level of committed financial and human resources as exists in KPS Global.”

Both Hill Phoenix and Kysor currently have operations in Fort Worth. No transaction price was released for the Dover acquisition, but D Cubed made the Kysor Panel acquisition for approximately $85 million.

Jack Bowling, previously with Kysor Panel Systems, was named CEO for KPS Global. “Our current focus is on the customer in the same way as these two teams have focused for many years,” Bowling said. “Customer experience will not be interrupted and all of the same people will make sure exceptional service is delivered.”

As part of the transaction, KPS Global assumes operation of five manufacturing and warehousing facilities. “Over time, our combined 500,000 square feet of manufacturing and warehousing capability will produce an interchangeable, highly engineered product,” Bowling said.

Bowling also promised new innovations would be coming from the new company.

“And while we are all focused on customer experience, over time, KPS Global will deliver greater service levels, technology and innovation,” said Bowling. “In 2016, for example, we will launch a next-generation configuration software tool that will dynamically scope customer projects. This field tool will deliver highly accurate data — from initial discussion to onsite design to precise quote and ultimately to final build drawings – in record time and with reduced error. And that’s just the beginning of our innovation goal.”

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Robert Francis
Robert is a Fort Worth native and longtime editor of the Fort Worth Business Press. He is a former president of the local Society of Professional Journalists and was a freelancer for a variety of newspapers, weeklies and magazines, including American Way, BrandWeek and InformatonWeek. A graduate of TCU, Robert has held a variety of writing and editing positions at publications such as the Grand Prairie Daily News and InfoWorld. He is also a musician and playwright.

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