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Magnetek to be acquired by Columbus McKinnon

Menomonee Falls-based Magnetek Inc. has entered an agreement to be acquired by Amherst, NY-based Columbus McKinnon Corp. for about $189 million.

Magnetek, which has about 340 employees, manufactures digital power and motion control systems used in applications including material handling, elevator, mobile hydraulic and mining. It is one of North America’s largest independent digital drives, radio controls, software and accessories suppliers for industrial cranes and hoists, and has counted Columbus McKinnon as a customer.

Columbus McKinnon manufactures material handling systems used to lift, position and secure materials. The company would acquire all the shares of Magnetek’s common stock for $50 cash per share under the agreement. Upon completion of the deal, Magnetek would become a wholly owned subsidiary of Columbus McKinnon.

According to the companies, the acquisition will combine their complementary assets to develop broader and more competitive material handling solutions. Both companies’ boards of directors have approved the transaction, and Magnetek’s board has urged shareholders to tender into the offer, which is expected to occur on or before Aug. 5.

Roadrunner acquires Texas trucking company

Cudahy-based Roadrunner Transportation Systems Inc. announced it has acquired El Paso, Texas-based Stagecoach Cartage and Distribution for about $35 million.

Roadrunner, an asset-light transportation and logistics service provider, will also cover an earnout of up to $5 million. The company used funds borrowed from its credit facility to complete the transaction.

Stagecoach offers truckload and logistics services throughout the southwest and in Mexico. It also provides warehousing and transloading options at its facilities in south-central and western Texas. Its 12-month trailing revenue was about $34 million as of June 30, with EBITDA of more than $7 million. The acquisition is expected to be accretive to Roadrunner’s 2015 earnings.

Roadrunner plans to retain Stagecoach’s 250 employees, and add more as the company grows.

MU Law Poll: Residents from three states support regional cooperation

Residents of northeastern Illinois, northwestern Indiana and southeastern Wisconsin overwhelmingly support cooperation among leaders when it comes to economic development, according to a new Marquette Law School Poll.

Of those who responded to the survey, which included 1,872 residents of the tri-state “megacity” region, 70 percent of the northeast Illinois group, 72 percent of the northwest Indiana group and 61 percent of the southeast Wisconsin group said leaders should work together to promote regional economic development.

About 60 percent from each state indicated support for a common fund that would provide comprehensive transportation planning for airports, railroads, highways and Lake Michigan shipping.

When it came to the licensing of trades and professions, 54 percent of Wisconsinites, 64 percent of Illinoisans and 62 percent of Indianans supported a single license across the three states.

But business attraction was another story. About half of Illinois respondents, 53 percent of Indiana respondents and 60 percent of Wisconsin respondents felt states should keep an individual focus in their efforts to court large companies to their states.

Tourism also favored individualism, with 59 percent of Illinoisans, 58 percent of Indianans and 65 percent of Wisconsinites surveyed supporting independent tourism promotion.

German manufacturer moving sales, service facility to Racine County

The Racine County Economic Development Corp. announced that a German hand tool manufacturer is locating a regional sales and service facility into the Town of Yorkville’s Grandview Business Park.

Stahlwille Tools LLC, based in Wuppertal, Germany, designs and manufactures hand and special-purpose tools for the aerospace, energy generation, transportation and general trade industries. It plans to begin operating out of its Town of Yorkville facility by the end of September.

This marks the second German manufacturing company Racine County has secured as a result of its foreign direct investment and international recruitment activities.

Stahlwille’s decision to move a facility to Racine County came in the spring when Gov. Scott Walker, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, the Milwaukee 7 and the RCEDC attended Hannover Messe, the world’s largest industrial trade show located in Hannover, Germany.  

Medical College wins $500,000 grant in GE-NFL Head Health Challenge

GE and the NFL has awarded a Medical College of Wisconsin research team a $500,000 award to advance its work to accelerate the diagnosis and improve treatment for mild traumatic brain injury.

This award is in addition to $300,000 awarded to the team in 2014 in the first round of the Head Health Challenge I.

Founded and funded by GE and the NFL, the Head Health Challenge’s goal is to improve the safety of athletes, members of the military, and society overall by supporting research into the diagnosis and treatment of mild traumatic brain injury, or concussion.

In total, GE and the NFL awarded up to $10 million during the Head Health Challenge I.

Launched in March 2013, the Head Health Challenge is part of the Head Health Initiative, a four-year, $60 million collaboration that is based in southeastern Wisconsin, at GE Healthcare’s North American headquarters in Wauwatosa and its global headquarters for Magnetic Resonance in Waukesha.

GE announced the partnership with the NFL in 2013.

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