Interior Systems acquired by Illinois manufacturer

Elkay Manufacturing to keep Milwaukee operations intact

An Elkay Manufacturing sink.

Milwaukee-based Interior Systems Inc. has been acquired by Oak Brook, Illinois-based Elkay Manufacturing. Terms of the transaction, which was completed Jan. 20, were not disclosed.

Interior Systems designs, manufactures and installs branded atmospheres for a variety of clients, from schools to fast food restaurants, where it does a complete buildout of the décor, cabinetry, upholstery, fiberglass and other elements of the brand environment.

The firm, which has a Third Ward headquarters and a manufacturing facility in Fond du Lac, will now be known as Elkay Interior Systems Inc. and will be integrated with Elkay’s commercial industrial division. Chris Gast, vice president and general manager for the commercial business at Elkay, will lead Elkay Interior Systems.

Elkay plans to retain Interior Systems’ facilities and its approximately 200 employees in the integration, said Linda Carlisle, corporate communications manager at Elkay.

Elkay has about 4,000 employees worldwide. It makes kitchen sinks, architectural millwork, cabinetry, faucets, foodservice fixtures, watercoolers, drinking fountains and related products.

Kohler Co. is currently suing Elkay for patent infringement involving a method of mounting apron-front sinks to a counter.

While Interior Systems does “front of the house” design, Elkay’s commercial industrial business does “back of the house” design, build and source for behind the counter and food preparation structures, so the companies are complementary, Carlisle said.

“We may be integrating the two organizations in some respects, in terms of how do we get all of the synergies that we see available, because really what we see is growth opportunities for both organizations,” she said.

“We’re excited about combining our business with Elkay’s commercial operations,” said Tony Lutz, president and CEO of Interior Systems. “We have gotten to know the team at Elkay well over the years. We feel like the culture at ISI aligns well with who Elkay is as a company, and with the growth strategies they have been successfully pursuing. Together we will be able to provide unrivaled talent, skills, products and resources.”

Milwaukee-based Promontory Point Capital served as financial advisor to Interior Systems in the transaction.

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Molly Dill, former BizTimes Milwaukee managing editor.

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