Mergers & Acquisitions

TDS acquires Mosinee Telephone Co.

TDS Telecommunications Corp., the Madison-based parent company of TDS Metrocom, has acquired Mosinee Telephone Co.

The transaction includes nearly 6,000 residential and business line equivalents in areas adjacent to existing TDS service territory covering Auburndale, Junction City and Vesper, Wis.

The acquisition enables TDS Telecom to expand customer coverage in the state.

“Our corporate headquarters is located in Wisconsin along with a large base of customers in the region,” said Dave Wittwer, president and chief executive officer of TDS Telecom. “The location and customer base fit strategically with our current operations. We are looking forward to serving the needs of the community with our diverse product and service offerings.”

TDS will communicate directly to all Mosinee customers in their monthly statements as the change moves forward.

“There will be a transition period for us to convert the customer information into our databases. Until then it’s business as usual,” Wittwer said.

Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

TDS Telecom is a wholly owned subsidiary of Chicago-based Telephone and Data Systems Inc.

Strattec acquires Delphi division

Milwaukee-based Strattec Security Corp., in combination with Witte Automotive of Velbert, Germany, and Vehicle Access Systems Technology (VAST) LLC, has reached a definitive agreement to acquire certain assets of Delphi Corp.’s Power Products business for $7.8 million, subject to closing adjustments.

The assets will consist primarily of equipment and inventory, and some employee liabilities. The assets will not include any of Delphi’s operations in Oak Creek.

Strattec will acquire the North American portion of Delphi’s Power Products business. Witte will acquire the European portion, and VAST will acquire the Asian portion.

The transaction is subject to both customary and other closing conditions relating to Delphi’s bankruptcy court proceedings. Strattec expects to complete the acquisition before the end of the year.

Delphi’s Power Products business designs, develops, tests, manufactures, markets and sells power systems to operate vehicle sliding side doors, and rear compartment access points such as liftgates and trunk lids. In addition, the product line includes power cinching latches and power cinching strikers used in those systems.

Current customers for these products supplied from North America are Chrysler LLC, Hyundai Motor Company, General Motors Corp. and Ford Motor Co.

Briggs to acquire Australian firm

Milwaukee-based Briggs & Stratton Corp. has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Victa Lawncare Pty. Ltd. of Sydney, Australia, from GUD Holdings Limited, for $22 million in cash, subject to adjustments.

Briggs & Stratton’s subsidiary Briggs & Stratton Australia Pty. Limited is a party to the transaction.

Victa Lawncare is a designer, manufacturer and marketer of a broad range of outdoor power equipment used in consumer lawn and garden applications in Australia and New Zealand. Its products are sold at large retail stores and independent dealers.

Victa Lawncare had net sales of $56 million for the nine months ended March 31, 2008 and anticipates net sales of approximately $64 million for the 12 months ending June 30.

Briggs & Stratton anticipates financing the transaction from cash on hand and/or its existing credit facilities.

The transaction is targeted for closing at the beginning of Briggs & Stratton’s fiscal 2009 first quarter, at which time Victa Lawncare will become a subsidiary of Briggs & Stratton Australia Pty. Limited.

“The acquisition brings together two of the leading companies in outdoor power products in Australia and New Zealand, and allows each company to continue to employ its core competencies. Briggs & Stratton will continue to focus on supplying engines to consumer and commercial power customers in Australia and New Zealand, and Victa Lawncare will continue to manufacture and market lawnmowers for its customers,” said Todd Teske, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Briggs & Stratton Corp.

“This is a very positive outcome for Victa customers and for Briggs & Stratton. The Victa business has benefited from low-cost components, new product development and broader distribution strategies in recent years. Victa’s brand strength and current operational performance can only add to the strength of a company like Briggs & Stratton,” said Ian Campbell, GUD Holdings’ managing director.

Acuity

Acuity, Sheboygan, was recently honored with numerous awards at the ACORD LOMA Insurance Systems Forum, held May 13-15 in Las Vegas. Susan Matzat, Sr. Programmer analyst of Acuity accepts one of three ACORD Awards from Greg Maciag, ACORD President,  and John Leonard, ACORD Chairman.

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