Weasler Engineering plans building expansion near West Bend

Actuant subsidiary preps for ag market to turn

Last updated on May 15th, 2019 at 05:03 pm

Despite a weak agricultural market, Actuant and its subsidiary Weasler Engineering plan to expand a Washington County facility to improve operations.

Actuant-Menomonee-Falls-033116-MMeyer

Weasler recently sold its land and facility in the town of Barton, which is near West Bend, to an affiliate of Zilber Property Group for $3 million, according to state records. The 29-acre property has an assessed value of $2,468,400.

Zilber will lease the roughly 160,000-square-foot facility to Weasler under a long-term deal. A 61,000-square-foot expansion is planned to streamline operations and flow within the plant and consolidate work from another warehouse facility, according to Karen Bauer, Actuant communications and investor relations lead.

Bauer said Menomonee Falls-based Actuant generally believes in using sale-leaseback real estate deals to help free up capital for other investments in the company. She said the company has worked with Zilber on similar deals in the past.

Weasler, which makes power transmission products for agriculture, lawn and turf machines, was acquired by Actuant in 2011 and currently has 330 employees at the facility. Bauer said the move is more about improving operations than short-term job gains.

The agriculture industry has been hampered by low commodity prices, but Bauer said Actuant believes there is potential for the industry in the future.

“We think food and farm productivity is a theme that will have long-term sustainable growth,” she said.

The idea is to have improved productivity and capacity when the market does turn.

“It’s easier, frankly, to do this stuff when volumes are down a little bit than when you’re running full tilt,” Bauer said.

 

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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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