More Financial News

Buyers emerge for manufacturing companies in receivership; Time is running out to apply for SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans; Shift supervisor at Wildeck is ESOP Employee Owner of the Year; Ryan appointed to serve on Obama’s deficit reduction commission;

Buyers emerge for manufacturing companies in receivership

Buyers have emerged for two well-known Milwaukee manufacturing companies that are now in state receivership protection.

Milwaukee Forge, which entered state Chapter 128 protection in February, currently has two different groups that have announced their intention to bid for the company’s assets, properties and will hire some or all of its employees.

Last week, MF Acquisition Corp. a wholly owned subsidiary of NOG Inc., announced that it has entered into an agreement to bid on the assets of Milwaukee Forge. Later the same day, an investor group led by David Messick, the current president and CEO of Milwaukee Forge, announced that it intends to bid for the company’s assets.

“Our local group is prepared to make a very strong bid, and we believe that it will be successful when the auction is completed,” Mesnick said. “Our investor group represents the best overall package, and it also is the best chance to retain the 100-plus jobs in Milwaukee and continue operating the company as a local business.”

NOG, which has a forging facility in Kentucky, and which employs managers who formerly worked at Interstate Forging Industries, which was formerly headquartered in Milwaukee, said that Milwaukee Forge would allow it gain new customers in the local market.

“The Milwaukee Forge situation looked like an opportunity to expand our offerings in our forging group,” said Dave Lauer, chief financial officer of NOG. “We will do our best to retain the customers and hire the employees there to try and make it a sustainable business.”

The purchase of Milwaukee Forge is not expected to close until late April. A buyer will ultimately be determined by the court. Until the case is decided, other bids can still be submitted to the court or the company’s receiver.

Meanwhile, an agreement to purchase Milwaukee-based Super Steel Products Corp. was announced last week by Fred Luber, founder of the company. Under the agreement, which still needs court approval, Luber and an investment group would purchase selected assets of the company out of Wisconsin Chapter 128 receivership.

Super Steel Products Corp. manufactures steel and metal equipment and products for the freight locomotive and passenger rail industries, as well as the industrial, construction and agricultural markets. The company operates at two facilities in the city of Milwaukee – its headquarters and manufacturing facility at 7900 W. Tower Ave., and its transportation and manufacturing facility at 7100 W. Calumet Road.

The company has approximately 250 employees. At its peak earlier this decade, Super Steel had more than 700 employees.

Luber is already a significant stakeholder in Super Steel. He has formed a new company, called SS Acquisition LLC, that would be the buyer of Super Steel if the bid is approved.

The purchase would include the Super Steel name, inventory, all machinery and equipment, as well as current customer contracts.

Luber indicated that if the sale to his company is approved, he has agreed to hire “substantially all” 250 Super Steel employees.

“As our industry arises from one of the most tumultuous economic periods in history, I believe very strongly that there are good things ahead for Super Steel,” Luber said.  “I am hopeful that the judge will approve our offer.”

Time is running out to apply for SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans

April 15 is the filing deadline for businesses to apply for Economic Injury Disaster Loans, intended to help businesses recover from the severe storms and flooding that occurred on June 18 -19.

Privately held businesses and non-profit organizations in Kenosha, Milwaukee, Racine, Walworth and Waukesha counties are able to apply for loans as high as $2 million, which may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other bills that could have been paid had the disaster not occurred. The loans, which carry a four percent interest rate with a maximum term of 30 years, are not intended to replace lost sales or profits.

Eligibility for the program is based on the size and type of business, and its financial resources.

To obtain a loan application, businesses should contact the SBA’s Customer Service Center by calling 800-659-2955 (800-877-8339 for the hearing-impaired) Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. EDT or send an e-mail to Business disaster loan applications can also be downloaded from


Shift supervisor at Wildeck is ESOP Employee Owner of the Year

The Wisconsin Chapter of the ESOP Association has selected Jack Sites, a shift supervisor at Wildeck Inc., as its 2010 Employee Owner of the Year. The annual award is presented to an employee who exemplifies the highest standards of employee ownership through their dedication and commitment to their company’s success.

“I never thought I would be an ‘owner’ in any capacity,” stated Sites, “As an ESOP owner, I try to apply my product and manufacturing knowledge to influence change and make things happen in the easiest, and most cost-effective way. At the end of the day, I want to make sure that we remain profitable – especially during these tough economic times – and do my part where we all benefit as employee owners.”

Sites will compete against a competitive field of employee owners from other state and regional chapters for the title “National Employee of the Year.”  The winner of the award will be announced at the ESOP Association’s 32nd Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. in May 2010.

“This is a high honor for Jack and for the company,” said Keith G. Pignolet, president of Wildeck. “Jack has been with Wildeck for nearly 28 years and is active in many of the company’s ESOP activities. He has made significant contributions to improve product quality, our manufacturing methods, and in streamlining many of our production processes. He is truly deserving of this award.”

Ryan appointed to serve on Obama’s deficit reduction commission

U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Janesville), ranking member of the House Budget Committee, has been named by House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) to serve on President Barack Obama’s bipartisan deficit commission.

Ryan joins House GOP colleagues Dave Camp of Michigan and Jeb Hebsarling of Texas on the commission, which was created by executive order last month.

They will join Sens. Judd Gregg (R-New Hampshire), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) and Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) as the Republican appointees on the commission.

"While I have serious concerns about what this commission can actually achieve, I hope it spurs a genuine effort to tackle the looming crisis of unsustainable entitlement spending – the greatest threat to our nation’s fiscal and economic future," Ryan said.

Boehner said his designees "know what it takes to address our long-term challenges while protecting taxpayers.”

“Americans are rightly concerned about the growth of government, while the rest of the country has been tightening their belts,” said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).

The commission will be chaired by former Clinton chief of staff Erskine Bowles and former Republican Sen. Alan Simpson.

The commission’s mission is to propose specific recommendations to balance the federal budget by 2015. A final recommendation must receive votes of approval from 14 of the commission’s 18 members and be submitted to the president by Dec. 1.


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