Mergers and Acquisitions

Waukesha Tool & Stamping acquires Illinois company; Orion acquisition completed

Waukesha Tool & Stamping acquires Illinois company

Sussex-based Waukesha Tool & Stamping LLC announced Monday that it has acquired Lake Zurich, Ill.-based Parkview Metal Products.

Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. With the acquisition the company will be re-named Waukesha Metal Products.

For Waukesha Tool & Stamping, the acquisition adds fabrication and robotic welding to its service capabilities, and will expand its stamping and automated assembly services.

“We’re acquiring (Parkview Metal Products) hopefully at the bottom of the economic cycle, said Jeff Clark, president of Waukesha Tool & Stamping. “Because of the timing, the upside growth potential is far greater with the acquisition.

Parkview’s stamping and tooling employees will move to Waukesha Tool & Stamping’s 50,000-square-foot facility in Sussex later this year. The Illinois company’s metal fabrication employees will need to relocate as well, because its 136,000-square-foot facility is oversized for its needs, Clark said. However, Waukesha Tool & Stamping has not yet decided it Parkview’s operations will stay in northern Illinois is move to Wisconsin.

Waukesha Tool & Stamping has about 40 employees now; it laid off about 10 workers earlier this year. Once the Parkview acquisition is complete, the company expects to have 75 to 80 employees.

Nels Leutwiler, former CEO of Parkview, will become an employee of Waukesha Tool & Stamping for several years to ease the transition, Clark said.

“I’ve known Nels for about 10 years and we’ve become good business friends,” he said. “As our businesses changed and he needed an exit, we were there at the opportune moment to expand our capacity, pick up a few extra premium customers, diversify our customers and markets and add the fabricating capability.”

Orion acquisition completed

John Crane, a division of London-based Smiths Group, recently completed its acquisition of Grafton-based Orion Corp.

Orion is a designer and manufacturer of hydrodynamic bearings for energy and general industrial markets. John Crane designs and manufactures seals and associated products mainly for the oil and gas, chemical, pharmaceutical, pulp and paper and mining sectors.

“Integration of Orion will build critical mass in our hydrodynamic bearing business and will add a manufacturing, sales and service base in North America to supplement our existing operations in Europe," said Paul Cox, president of John Crane. "This purchase establishes John Crane as a global leader in the hydrodynamic bearings sector.”

Milwaukee-based Robert W. Baird & Co. served as the exclusive financial advisor to Orion Corp. on the transaction. 

“This transaction benefits both organizations,” said Tom Lacy, managing director of Baird Investment Banking. “Orion strengthens John Crane’s competitive position in the power generation market and establishes the company as one of the leading manufacturers in the hydrodynamic bearings sector. Similarly, John Crane’s expansive global sales and service network significantly extends Orion’s reach to pursue international growth opportunities."


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