Chartwell is pleased to announce Blackstone has successfully completed a minority equity investment in Salas O’Brien, a leading employee-owned engineering and technical services firm.


Chartwell Advises Challenge Manufacturing on Refinancing of Senior Debt

December 2020

Chartwell is pleased to announce that Challenge Manufacturing Company, LLC has successfully completed the refinancing of its senior debt. The newly-funded indebtedness provides Challenge (the “Company”) with financial flexibility and liquidity to support continued growth from significant recent new business awards. The financing package includes an expanded revolving credit facility and refinancing of its senior secured term loan. Chartwell acted as the exclusive financial advisor to Challenge throughout the transaction, providing counsel to the board of directors and senior management team.

Incumbent lenders Wells Fargo and Bank of America remain as working capital lenders to the Company, while WhiteHawk Capital Partners has entered the relationship as a term loan lender. Each capital provider expressed their eagerness and excitement to take part in the next chapter of the Company’s story. Challenge is an employee-owned Tier One automotive manufacturer of advanced modular assemblies and engineered metal- formed products, providing comprehensive solutions for OEMs.

“Challenge is extremely pleased with Chartwell facilitating the refinancing of our existing indebtedness and additional lending capacity which will allow more flexibility and capital to support our long-term strategic and financial plan. Throughout each step of the process, Chartwell provided valuable, comprehensive analyses and advice on a myriad of topics and considerations that allowed our management team and Board of Directors to make highly informed decisions. We truly appreciate the work Chartwell put forth and look forward to working with Chartwell on our future capital needs.”

— Doug Bradley, CEO, Challenge Manufacturing

“Chartwell continues to remain a trusted financial advisor to our Company as demonstrated through their commitment to our business and understanding of our financial needs. Chartwell was able to implement an optimal debt structure that will positively impact our employee shareholders’ equity value. Our partnership with Chartwell has been instrumental to Challenge’s success and we look forward to our continued partnership.”

— Mike Rodgers, CFO, Challenge Manufacturing

About Challenge Manufacturing

Founded in 1981, Challenge has remained dedicated to supporting OEMs as a critical manufacturer of advanced modular assemblies and engineered metal-formed products. The Company is the largest employee-owned automotive supplier in the United States and remains dedicated to the wellbeing of its employee-owners.

Chartwell Contact

For additional information on this transaction, please contact Will Bloom. To learn more about Chartwell’s corporate finance capabilities, please contact Greg Fresh.

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