Buyers emerge for manufacturing companies in receivership

Bidders line up for Milwaukee Forge, Super Steel

Buyers have emerged for two well-known Milwaukee manufacturing companies that are now in state receivership protection.

Milwaukee Forge, which entered state Chapter 128 protection in February, currently has two different groups that have announced their intention to bid for the company’s assets, properties and will hire some or all of its employees. Last week, MF Acquisition Corp. a wholly owned subsidiary of NOG Inc., announced that it has entered into an agreement to bid on the assets of Milwaukee Forge. Later the same day, an investor group led by David Messick the current president and CEO of Milwaukee Forge, announced that it intends to bid for the company’s assets.

“Our local group is prepared to make a very strong bid, and we believe that it will be successful when the auction is completed,” Mesnick said. “Our investor group represents the best overall package, and it also is the best chance to retain the 100-plus jobs in Milwaukee and continue operating the company as a local business.”

NOG, which has a forging facility in Kentucky, and which employs managers who formerly worked at Interstate Forging Industries, which was formerly headquartered in Milwaukee, said that Milwaukee Forge would allow it gain new customers in the local market.

“The Milwaukee Forge situation looked like an opportunity to expand our offerings in our forging group,” said Dave Lauer, chief financial officer of NOG. “We will do our best to retain the customers and hire the employees there to try and make it a sustainable business.”

The purchase of Milwaukee Forge is not expected to close until late April. A buyer will ultimately be determined by the court. Until the case is decided, other bids can still be submitted to the court or the company’s receiver.

Meanwhile, an agreement to purchase Milwaukee-based Super Steel Products Corp. was announced last week by Fred Luber, founder of the company. Under the agreement, which still needs court approval, Luber and an investment group would purchase selected assets of the company out of Wisconsin Chapter 128 receivership.

Super Steel Products Corp. manufactures steel and metal equipment and products for the freight locomotive and passenger rail industries, as well as the industrial, construction and agricultural markets. The company operates at two facilities in the city of Milwaukee – its headquarters and manufacturing facility at 7900 W. Tower Ave., and its transportation and manufacturing facility at 7100 W. Calumet Road.

The company has approximately 250 employees. At its peak earlier this decade, Super Steel had more than 700 employees.

Luber is already a significant stakeholder in Super Steel. He has formed a new company, called SS Acquisition LLC, that would be the buyer of Super Steel if the bid is approved. 

The purchase would include the Super Steel name, inventory, all machinery and equipment, as well as current customer contracts. 

Luber indicated that if the sale to his company is approved, he has agreed to hire “substantially all” 250 Super Steel employees.

“As our industry arises from one of the most tumultuous economic periods in history, I believe very strongly that there are good things ahead for Super Steel,” Luber said.  “I am hopeful that the judge will approve our offer.”


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