Chartwell Advises Challenge Manufacturing Company on Refinancing Existing Indebtedness



MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota – May 8, 2017 – Chartwell is pleased to announce that its Corporate Finance team recently assisted Challenge Mfg. Company, LLC (“Challenge” or the “Company”) and its Board of Directors in successfully executing a debt recapitalization and refinancing transaction.  The newly funded indebtedness and executed structure provide the Company with an improved cost of capital and the capability to generate higher free cash flow, while also creating flexibility to allow for investment in the Company’s continued growth. The financing package includes a revolving credit facility as well as a senior secured term loan.

Founded in 1981 and headquartered in Walker, MI, Challenge is an employee-owned Tier One manufacturer of modular assemblies and engineered metal formed products for motor vehicles supported by seven manufacturing facilities, an R&D center, and a China-based tooling procurement center with over 2.1 million square feet of production space and 3,000 associates.  Challenge prides itself on maintaining its values, culture, and competitiveness as an employee-owned company operating within the highly competitive automotive industry.



“Chartwell was instrumental, once again, in successfully replacing our indebtedness with more flexible and opportunistic capital that will support our long-term strategic and financial plan.  We truly appreciate Chartwell’s dedication and commitment to our refinancing process, and value Chartwell’s objective perspective and capital market expertise which were critical in determining the proper financing solution for our dynamic, growing Company.”

Mike Rodgers
Chief Financial Officer, Challenge Manufacturing


“Challenge continues to turn to Chartwell as a trusted financial advisor due to the team’s corporate finance experience, understanding of our business and ESOP considerations, and our long-standing faith in their capital markets professionals. The Chartwell team listened to our objectives and dedicated considerable time and effort with all Challenge’s stakeholders to implement an optimal capital structure. Throughout the process, Chartwell’s team communicated thoroughly and continuously with our management team and Board of Directors regarding financing alternatives and market dynamics, providing our leadership team a high degree of confidence in the ultimate solution."

Boyd Vor Broker
Vice President of Strategy & Member of the Board of Directors, Challenge Manufacturing



Challenge, an employee-owned firm, is a critical manufacturer of modular assemblies and engineered metal-formed products serving the automotive industry. As a leading automotive supplier, the Company uses state-of-the-art design, engineering, testing, and manufacturing capabilities to produce a broad array of aluminum and steel modular parts that are essential to the structural integrity of the vehicle. Challenge operates across a footprint of strategically located facilities in North America and China to serve as a Tier One supplier to multiple global automotive OEMs. For more information about CMC, please visit


Chartwell provides comprehensive financial advisory solutions and investment banking services to the middle market.  With substantial corporate finance and capital markets expertise, the Chartwell team works with clients and their advisors to deliver independent, solutions-based advisory services that are unbiased to outcome, free from conflicts, and focused on optimizing client objectives.  For more information about Chartwell, please visit  For additional information on this capital markets transaction, please contact Will Bloom at 312-638-5651 or For information about Chartwell’s corporate finance capabilities, please contact Greg Fresh at 612-230-3125 or