KPS Capital Partners, LP said Tuesday that it is selling Wisconsin-based Waupaca Foundry, Inc., the world's largest foundry company, to Japan's Hitachi Metals, Ltd. for $1.3 billion.

"KPS recognized the potential of our business two years ago. Working in partnership with KPS, we invested significantly in our operations and people, which included an expansion of our production capacity and launching numerous continuous improvement initiatives across all six of our foundries," Waupaca CEO Gary Gigante said in a press release.

Founded in 1910, Hitachi employs some 320,000 people worldwide, including more than 5,000 assigned to research and development.

KPS acquired Waupaca in June 2012. Since then, the firm has expanded production and created 200 new jobs at its six foundries in Wisconsin, Indiana and Tennessee, increasing its workforce to 3,900 people.

Waupaca Foundry is North America's foremost provider of iron castings to the automotive, commercial vehicle, agriculture, construction and industrial markets.

"The sale of Waupaca to Hitachi Metals, a leading multinational corporation, is a great outcome for our investors, Waupaca, its management, employees and customers," David Shapiro, a KPS Managing Partner, said.

"We are thrilled to join Hitachi Metals, which has the resources, foundry experience, access to capital and global reach that will enable Waupaca to achieve an even higher level of success," Gigante said. EFE