Krones acquires W.M. Sprinkman

Food and beverage equipment manufacturer continues to expand

Holger Beckmann, president and CEO of Krones Inc., and Brian Sprinkman, president of W.M. Sprinkman Corp.

Last updated on July 3rd, 2019 at 07:22 pm

Franklin-based Krones Inc. announced it has acquired Waukesha-based W.M. Sprinkman Corp. The transaction closed Oct. 2 for an undisclosed price.

Holger Beckmann, president and CEO of Krones Inc., and Brian Sprinkman, president of W.M. Sprinkman Corp.

Sprinkman, which manufactures food and beverage processing equipment, has 125 employees at locations in Waukesha and Elroy. The company, founded in 1929, has found a niche in manufacturing equipment for microbreweries, but also assists large global food and beverage customers. In the integration, Sprinkman will keep its employees, name, management and facilities, becoming a Krones Group subsidiary. Krones will help streamline Sprinkman’s operations and bring them in line with its systems.

“We are proud to join forces with a global leader like Krones,” said Brian Sprinkman, president of W.M. Sprinkman. “This partnership will allow us to exponentially widen our product and service offerings to our customers.”

Krones Inc. is the U.S. subsidiary of Krones AG, a German manufacturer of packaging and bottling line systems, brew house and processing systems, IT solutions and warehouse logistics systems. Krones has about 1,000 employees, 500 of which work in Franklin. As of last year, the company had 600 employees.

Krones has been expanding in recent years, both organically and via acquisition. In 2017, it acquired New York process systems integrator Javlyn and Pennsylvania industrial control company Process and Data Automation Inc., and in 2016 Krones acquired 80 percent ownership of Florida sanitary process systems manufacturer Trans-Market Sales & Equipment Inc.

Last year, Krones opened its second U.S. office in Ontario, California, and announced plans to build a 40,000-square-foot training and technology center across from its U.S. headquarters in Franklin, with plans to hire another 25 employees upon completion. The center is currently under construction, and expected to open in the first quarter of 2019.

Krones AG sees a huge market potential in North America and sees a necessity to give more localized powers to its subsidiaries, which is driving Krones’ rapid local growth, a spokeswoman said.

With the acquisition of Sprinkman, Krones will expand its product portfolio in North America to provide solutions for the whole of customers’ production value chains.

“Bringing Sprinkman into the Krones family not only adds an experienced team of employees and a great customer base, but also helps round out our U.S.-based process engineering and manufacturing capabilities,” said Holger Beckmann, president and CEO of Krones Inc. “The Sprinkman brand is well known and respected. Combined with the strength of our subsidiaries Trans-Market and Javlyn Process Systems, we now have a synergistic offering in processing solutions, and can additionally supply Sprinkman’s customer base with the automation tools they need to gain competitive edge in the marketplace through our subsidiary, Process and Data Automation.”

Milwaukee-based investment bank Bridgewood Advisors advised Krones in the transaction.

“After working with Krones on three previous acquisitions in different regions of the country, it was exciting to help Krones complete such a strategic move right here in their own backyard,” said Doug Marconnet, managing director of Bridgewood.

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Molly Dill
Molly Dill, former BizTimes Milwaukee managing editor.