Biztnotes for 9.16.05

Last updated on May 13th, 2019 at 02:35 pm

Ford Foundation

Two Milwaukee individuals will receive a Leadership for a Changing World award from The Ford Foundation, N.Y. in October. Will Allen, executive director of Growing Power Community Food Center, Milwaukee and Reggie Moore, co-founder and executive director for Urban Underground, Milwaukee, will each receive $100,000 to advance their work and an additional $15,000 for supporting activities within their organizations over the next two years. The Leadership for a Changing World program was formed by the Ford Foundation in partnership with the Advocacy Institute, Washington, D.C. and the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at New York University. Twenty individuals nationwide were selected to receive the Leadership for a Changing World award.

Woodway USA

Woodway USA, Waukesha, launched a new product called The Blade, a tool to improve performance, primarily for hockey players. The Blade is a treadmill training tool featuring a specifically designed ice surface that is 83 inches long by 94 inches wide. The Blade’s surface consists of replaceable plastic components attached to dual aluminum slats. The construction allows for less friction and less wear and tear and maintenance repair. The training tool is used to improve athletic performance by enhancing movements, stride length and correcting skating mechanics.

Medical College of Wisconsin

The Medical College of Wisconsin, Wauwatosa, received a five-year, $1 million grant to study the mechanisms by which inhaled anesthetics protect the human heart against injury from interruptions in blood flow like those occurring during heart surgery. Zeljko Bosnjak, a professor and vice chairman of anesthesiology and professor of physiology for the Medical College will serve as the principal investigator of the grant.

The Medical College also received a $120,000 grant from the Linde Co., Sweden, to fund research to examine and define how the xenon gas protects the heart from injury when disrupted blood flow is restored. Martin Bienengraeber, assistant professor of anesthesiology, pharmacology and toxicology at the Medical College will serve as the principal investigator of the grant.

Wisconsin Foundation

for Independent Colleges

The Wisconsin Foundation for Independent Colleges (WFIC), Milwaukee, received a $7,500 unrestricted grant from Briggs & Stratton Corp. Foundation, Milwaukee. The grant will support WFIC’s goal of providing direct support and innovative programming to expand educational opportunities at Wisconsin’s 20 independent higher education institutions.

Boelter + Lincoln

Boelter + Lincoln Marketing Communications, Milwaukee, was selected as the marketing agency of record for Badger State Ethanol, Monroe. Currently, Badger State Ethanol is in the process of opening a self-service ethanol fueling station in Monroe. Boelter + Lincoln will provide advertising and marketing services for Badger State Ethanol, including the development of an entire branding package for its new ethanol fueling station.

Harris Business Solutions LLC

Michael Harris launched his new business, Harris Business Solutions LLC, Muskego, a business advising outsourcing solution. Harris delivers senior-level assistance on a short-term, special project or on-going basis in finance, management, research and other niche areas to small businesses, medium and large companies and institutional investment firms. Michael Harris is a certified public accountant and a former senior equity research analyst at Robert W. Baird & Co., Milwaukee. His background includes providing accounting, auditing, finance, business model analysis and other advisory-related services to public and private companies. Harris Business Solutions can be located on the Web at


M&A Briefs

Rockwell acquires Canadian firm

Milwaukee-based Rockwell Automation Inc. has acquired Quality Rewind & Electric Inc.’s leading motor repair and motor management business based in Ft. McMurray, Alberta, Canada.

The acquisition provides Rockwell Automation with an established services business well-positioned to expand opportunities in the Canadian "oil sands" industry. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

"The Canadian oil sands industry represents an important growth initiative for Rockwell Automation. This strategic acquisition enables us to better serve customers with a broader portfolio of solutions to meet their needs in this rapidly growing market," said Joseph Swan, president of Rockwell Automation Power Systems.

Quality Rewind, a privately held business, has been the only major motor repair/rewind service in the Canadian oil sands region where it holds a strong market position. The Bush administration believes Alberta’s oil sands could contain more oil than all of Saudi Arabia.

Brady Corp. files to

expand stock offerings

Brady Corp., a Milwaukee-based provider of identification solutions, announced it has filed a shelf registration statement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to gain permission to issue and sell up to $400 million of common stock and debt securities to raise capital at a later date.

Brady plans to use the proceeds from any future offerings for general corporate purposes, including acquisitions, capital expenditures and refinancing of debt.

David Mathieson, Brady chief financial officer, said, "This is the first time we have filed a universal shelf registration statement. While we have no immediate plans to draw funding from it, it provides us additional flexibility to pursue our growth initiatives." Brady also announced it has acquired wire-marker manufacturer Texit AS of Odense, Denmark. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Texit, founded in 1992, develops, manufactures and distributes cable-management products including wire markers, cable ties and accessories, insulation and connectivity products, printers and identification software for mass transit markets. Texit had sales of about $9 million in 2004.

Pitney Bowes to acquire Firstlogic

Pitney Bowes Inc. of Stamford, Conn., announced it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire all of the remaining outstanding shares of La Crosse-based Firstlogic Inc. for about $50.3 million, excluding cash and debt on the balance sheet.

Pitney Bowes currently has 10 percent equity ownership of the privately held company. Firstlogic develops and markets software and services that improve operations in data quality, mailing efficiency and postal automation.

When the transaction is completed, Firstlogic will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Pitney Bowes’ Document Messaging Technologies division. The acquisition, which is subject to regulatory approval, is expected to close in the third calendar quarter.

"The acquisition of Firstlogic extends our platform by giving our customers a more comprehensive portfolio of software, services and solutions. Firstlogic’s extensive relationships with top-tier system integrators and enterprise software vendors enhance our distribution network and accelerate our global expansion," said Michael Critelli, chairman and chief executive officer of Pitney Bowes.

Firstlogic, which was founded in 1984, generated more than $55 million in revenue in 2004 and has about 400 employees. Eric Lieberman, president of Firstlogic, said, "This does not change our mission – it makes it better. This merger is the opportunity to accelerate our business model of delivering a compelling and industry-defining mail and data quality platform spanning both enterprise and geographic boundaries. Our customers will benefit by being able to choose from a broad portfolio of products that complement our core technologies."

Meat companies merge

American Foods Group of Green Bay and Rosen’s Diversified Inc. of Fairmont, Minn., have merged to create a combined meat company with $1.5 billion in annual sales.

The new company will be known as American Foods Group LLC and will have operating plants in Wisconsin, Minnesota, South Dakota, Ohio, Nebraska and Virginia.

Susan Finco, a spokeswoman for the combined company, told SBT that the transaction is a "true merger," rather than an outright acquisition.

Tom Rosen, chief executive officer of Rosen’s Diversified, and Carl Kuehne, CEO and owner of American Foods Group, will serve as co-chairmen and co-CEOs of the new company. Greg Benedict will be chief operating officer, and Robert Hovde will be the chief financial officer.

"Our companies complement each other’s business," Rosen said. "By merging the firms, it will strengthen our ability to remain competitive in the meat industry."

Kuehne said the merger would provide new opportunities and areas of growth. "Combining our wide variety of products and services will result in an even greater customer focus. Plus, company growth means growth in the employment sector and new work opportunities for our associates," Kuehne said.

The merged company will have more than

3,000 employees.

– September 16, 2005, Small Business Times, Milwaukee, WI

Sign up for BizTimes Daily Alerts

Stay up-to-date on the people, companies and issues that impact business in Milwaukee and Southeast Wisconsin

No posts to display