Mergers & Acquisitions

Actuant acquires Illinois manufacturer

Actuant Corp. has acquired Templeton, Kenly & Co. Inc. (TK) for approximately $48 million in cash.

Funding for the completed transaction came from the Actuant’s revolving credit facility.

Headquartered in Broadview, Ill., TK produces hydraulic pumps and tools, mechanical jacks, wrenches, and actuators. Its products are sold under well established brand names including Simplex, Uni-Lift and Pow’r-Riser. TK generated approximately $33 million in sales in the last year, and has approximately 120 employees.

TK will operate within Actuant’s Industrial Segment, which includes Enerpac.

Mark Goldstein, chief operating officer of Actuant, said, “TK is a great addition to our global industrial platform. Their leading positions in the mechanical jack product line and the railroad end market represent attractive market extensions for Actuant, and we are excited about the prospects for utilizing our global distribution network to accelerate the sales of these products. In addition, TK’s hydraulic pumps and tools are an excellent complement to our Enerpac product line. TK president Tom Danza and his management team have been successful in creating a growth platform, and we look forward to them joining the Actuant team.”

Headquartered in Butler, Wis., Actuant is a diversified industrial company with operations in more than 30 countries.

Investment group to acquire Hoffmaster

An affiliate of Kohlberg & Co. Inc., a private equity firm with offices in New York and California, has signed a definitive agreement to acquire the Hoffmaster business in Oshkosh from Solo Cup Co. for about $170 million.

Subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions, the transaction is expected to close within the next 45 days. Kohlberg has received a commitment to obtain financing for the transaction, subject to customary conditions.

Under the terms of the agreement, a newly formed affiliate of Kohlberg will acquire all of the assets of the Hoffmaster business, including its product portfolio of disposable tableware and special occasions consumer products and associated manufacturing equipment, as well as manufacturing facilities in Oshkosh and Appleton, a leased distribution center located in Indianapolis, Ind., and a sourcing subsidiary in Hong Kong.

“This decision is one that comes from our previously discussed initiative to divest non-core assets,” said Robert Korzenski, chief executive officer of Highland Park, Ill.-based Solo Cup Co. “While the Hoffmaster business is strong, this divestiture allows us to reduce our overall debt burden and increase our focus and investment on improving performance and positioning the company for growth.”

Schneider National expands in China

Schneider Logistics (Tianjin) Co. Ltd., a division of Green Bay-based Schneider National Inc., has purchased the key operating assets of BaoYun Logistics in the People’s Republic of China.

The investment enables Schneider to further expand its current supply chain consulting and transportation and logistics service offerings. The combined offering now includes transportation, warehousing, cross-docking, third-party logistics and consulting services focused on the domestic Chinese market.

BaoYun Logistics was founded in 1998 by ZhiHua Yu.

“We are honored to work with Mr. ZhiHua Yu and BaoYun Logistics to provide transportation and logistics services to customers in China,” said Chris Lofgren, chief executive officer and president of Schneider National. “We welcome the BaoYun associates into our corporate family and look forward to helping grow their significant transportation and logistics expertise to meet the needs of customers within China’s borders.”

“I am happy that our companies will be working together and creating a Chinese company that leverages proven international systems and practices,” said ZhiHua Yu. “Schneider’s advanced operating model, innovative technology and leading supply chain practices will help our associates provide more effective results for our customers. Our entire management team looks forward to developing Schneider Logistics in China for many years to come.”

Martin Winchell, managing director of Schneider Logistics, China, said that purchasing the operating assets of BaoYun Logistics was an important step in helping the company better serve customers in China.

“We’re taking very deliberate, strategic steps in China,” Winchell said. “Schneider Logistics (Tianjin) was founded with our intent to operate a number of trucks and provide transportation management for our clients. This transaction will increase our service scope to meet our customer requirements for broader logistics solutions. We see tremendous opportunity in providing services to the domestic market as the economy grows and look forward to delivering the products Chinese consumers need.”

Manitowoc manufacturers to merge

In a merger that will combine two Manitowoc manufacturers, Tower Tech Holdings Inc. (TWRT) has agreed to acquire RBA Inc.

Founded in 1985 by Raymond Brickner, the current chief executive officer of Tower Tech, RBA machines and fabricates components for infrastructure-related industries, including components for mining and wind turbine erection cranes.

RBA and Tower Tech are both located on the same 46-acre peninsula in Manitowoc. The peninsula is adjacent to a deep water shipping channel with access to Lake Michigan and is accessible to both rail and truck.

“The acquisition of RBA expands the range of fabricated products manufactured by Tower Tech for the projected energy-related infrastructure buildout in North America,” said Steve Huntington, chief financial officer of Tower Tech. “The equipment manufactured by RBA utilizes similar labor capabilities as our wind tower business, which will enhance the efficiency of our combined operations. We also plan to increase RBA’s exposure to the wind turbine industry by the expansion of its wind-related product line. We welcome RBA’s employees to the Tower Tech team. They will be invaluable in helping us achieve our goal of becoming the premier manufacturer of components for the wind and energy industries. We will continue the pursuit of this goal through additional acquisitions and internal growth through new and existing partnerships with our customers, which include most of the world’s leading wind turbine manufacturers.”

Under the terms of the agreement, RBA shareholders will receive $5 million in cash as consideration for all of the outstanding shares of RBA. Tower Tech will use internal funds to finance the acquisition. The companies expect the acquisition to close by the fourth quarter of 2007.

Tower Tech also recently signed an agreement to acquire Brad Foote Gear Works Inc., a Cicero, Illinois-based manufacturer of gearing systems for the wind turbine, oil and gas and energy-related industries.

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