Douglas Dynamics acquires Iowa manufacturer

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Milwaukee-based Douglas Dynamics Inc. announced it has agreed to acquire Manchester, Iowa-based Henderson for about $95 million.

Henderson manufactures custom snow and ice control equipment solutions for heavy duty trucks. It serves state departments of transportation, counties and municipalities. Products include snow plows, ice control equipment, dump bodies, muni-bodies and replacement parts. It generated $76 million in net sales in the year ending Sept. 30.

Henderson has a 170,000-square-foot manufacturing facility where most of its more than 350 employees are based. It also has five truck equipment up-fit facilities in New York, Iowa, Ohio, New Jersey and Illinois that handle assembly and delivery of the trucks.

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Douglas makes vehicle snow and ice attachments and equipment under the Blizzard, Fisher, Snowex and Western brands, turf care equipment under the Turfex brand, and industrial maintenance equipment under the Sweepex brand.

Douglas plans to close the acquisition by the end of the year. It will be financed through a combination of cash and the amendment of its existing term loan agreement.

“The acquisition aligns perfectly with our core business and adds a layer of predictability and stability to our business, which is highlighted by Henderson’s excellent track record of 11 consecutive years of revenue growth,” said James Janik, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Douglas Dynamics. “Henderson is the industry leader in the heavy-duty truck segment of the snow and ice control market and has a different customer base and sales cycle as compared to our core business. Henderson works with the municipal budgeting and planning cycle which provides a much higher degree of revenue visibility with purchase decisions that are generally pre-planned and less driven by near-term weather conditions.

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“The addition of Henderson cements Douglas Dynamics as the North American leader in snow and ice control across all truck segments. It expands our product portfolio, broadens our geographic footprint, and adds a dynamic and productive workforce and management team. We will also leverage our Douglas Dynamics Management System, including our lean manufacturing expertise, to work with Marty Ward, president and CEO of Henderson, and his leadership team to improve business efficiency and drive margin growth in the business.”

“Douglas Dynamics’ track record of success, customer centric focus, and culture of integrity make them the perfect partner for our business,” Ward said. “Both businesses have strategic expertise in snow and ice control which can be leveraged to enhance the service and capabilities we provide to our customers and support our continued growth. We look forward to joining the Douglas Dynamics team and sharing expertise in 2015 and beyond.”

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