Tramont Manufacturing could add 60 employees in planned expansion

Company emerged from receivership in 2014

Manufacturing plant

Milwaukee-based Tramont Manufacturing LLC plans to expand its operations in the Riverworks Industrial Center District, potentially adding 60 employees over the next three years.

manufacturing plant shutterstock_353910407

The company, which emerged from receivership in 2014 after being purchased by Illinois-based UCA Group, is seeking $10 million in New Markets Tax Credits through the First-Ring Industrial Redevelopment Enterprise or FIRE, a West Allis-based regional community development entity.

Chief executive officer Nand Kumar, who owns Illinois-based UCA Group, said he will be putting in $5 million of his own money for the expansion project. That would be combined with $2.1 million in debt and $2.7 million from the allocation of the tax credits to support adding new machinery, refinancing debt and providing working capital, according to documents prepared by FIRE.

Kumar said he is looking to invest in new machinery, particularly for laser cutting and dust collection. Tramont builds diesel tanks and enclosures for generators. It currently operates from a 175,000-square-foot facility at 3701 N. Humboldt Blvd.

The company has been able to increase sales 50 percent over the last few years, Kumar said. Tramont has 105 employees currently, but he said the wages are closer to those of 130 with the amount of overtime that’s been needed to keep up with demand. He plans to hire 10 more employees in the immediate future.

Tramont has annual revenue of $12 million, according to the FIRE memo, and is projected to reach $19 million by 2019.

“I think we are seeing positive signs all around us,” Kumar said.

Still, with the recent receivership and short operating history as a new company, finding financing for the expansion has proved difficult. The company also has not turned a profit in the last two years and says the tax credits are needed to provide adequate working capital.

The FIRE Investment Committee plans to consider the project today.

Kumar said if the company continues to grow he may need to look at the possibility of a new facility, particularly one that could more crane capacity.

The FIRE memo says the company’s employment could top 200 in the next seven years.

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Arthur covers banking and finance and the economy at BizTimes while also leading special projects as an associate editor. He also spent five years covering manufacturing at BizTimes. He previously was managing editor at The Waukesha Freeman. He is a graduate of Carroll University and did graduate coursework at Marquette. A native of southeastern Wisconsin, he is also a nationally certified gymnastics judge and enjoys golf on the weekends.

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