AFW Foundry acquired by Chicago holding company

The assets of AFW Foundry Inc. have been sold to The Mumford Companies, a Chicago-based diversified business and real estate holding company.

AFW is based in the Village of Lannon in Waukesha County. It is a non-ferrous aluminum, brass and bronze foundry that specializes in making high-quality sand castings. AFW, founded in 1953 by the Gerstmeier family, serves the marine, defense, oil and gas and off-highway industries.

The company entered Chapter 128 receivership in March, and has continued operations and retained all jobs during the sale. Brookfield-based Brass Tacks Group LLC provided financial advisory and Milwaukee-based investment bank Eisen Fox & Co. LLC marketed AFW to potential buyers.

“There was significant interest in AFW from both strategic and financial buyers, as the company recently underwent a modernization that increased capacity and improved quality. This provides a tremendous platform for growth,” said Vicki Fox, managing director of Eisen Fox & Co.

The Mumford Companies is the parent company of Milwaukee-based core manufacturer Expert Cores of Wisconsin, which supplies foundries including AFW. It also has other holdings in Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Texas and Florida.

“What attracted us to AFW was the quality of the people, the potential of the modern foundry assets and the excellent location for manufacturing in southeastern Wisconsin,” said Phil Mumford Jr., principal at The Mumford Companies. “Also, the history of the business that has grown and matured for 61 years and still has the best years yet to come. I have been involved in the foundry industry (through Expert Cores) since 2011 and the foundry men and women I have had the pleasure of working with are almost universally honest, hard-working and passionate about their profession. I’m proud to be involved with American basic manufacturing through the aluminum, brass and bronze sand castings AFW Foundry produces.”

Waukesha-based Investors Bank and Ron Carlson, court appointed receiver for AFW, sought bidders that would keep the company operating and retain its employees.

“It was an extremely competitive sale process with various high-quality, financially capable bidders interested in buying and growing the business,” Carlson said. “Investors Bank, the holder of AFW’s senior debt, was supportive and great to work with throughout the process. Together we were able to facilitate the best possible result for AFW, its employees, and the community as a whole.”  

“We are most pleased that AFW will continue providing employment to its many Wisconsin workers,” said Gordy King, president and chief operating officer of Investors Bank.

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