Wisconsin Manufacturing News

Milwaukee company launches ethanol yeast venture; Regal Beloit acquires Australian company; Badger Meter acquires Arizona companies

Milwaukee company launches ethanol yeast venture

Verdezyne Inc., an industrial biotechnology company, and Milwaukee-based Lallemand Ethanol Technology, a global provider of yeast to the fuel ethanol industry, announced they have signed an agreement to develop and commercialize a genetically enhanced high-yield ethanol-producing yeast.

Carlsbad, Calif.-based Verdezyne will use its suite of metabolic engineering tools to rapidly introduce a proprietary pathway into an industrial yeast strain provided by Lallemand. The enhanced yeast will produce more ethanol per unit of glucose compared with currently available strains.

Lallemand will be responsible for process development, manufacturing and worldwide commercialization of the novel yeast. Under the terms of the agreement, Verdezyne will receive patent license fees and royalty payments.

“Verdezyne is excited about this partnership, and we are looking forward to a highly productive collaboration with Lallemand, a global leader in fermentation technology,” said E. William Radany, Ph.D., Verdezyne president and chief executive officer. “We are confident that our combined efforts will allow us to accelerate development and commercialization of this innovative yeast.”

“We believe Verdezyne is the right partner to develop an enhanced yeast with properties that are very desirable to today’s ethanol producers,” said Bill Nankervis, president of Lallemand Specialties Inc. and general manager of Lallemand Ethanol Technology. “This agreement represents a commitment on behalf of Verdezyne and Lallemand to provide a superior yeast that will deliver improved profitability and sustainability to our customers.”

Lallemand Ethanol Technology (LET) is a business unit of the Canadian yeast and bacteria producer Lallemand Inc.

Regal Beloit acquires Australian company

Regal Beloit Corp. announced it has acquired CMG Engineering Group Pty. Ltd. of Melbourne, Australia.

CMG manufactures and distributes fractional horse power industrial motors, blower systems, and industrial metal products with operations in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Malaysia, Singapore, the United Kingdom and the Middle East.

The purchase price was approximately $75 million in cash, the assumption of approximately $5.5 million in net liabilities and 100,000 shares of Regal Beloit common stock.

CMG is expected to add approximately $92 million to Regal Beloit’s annual sales and add 4 cents to its earnings per share in 2010.

Henry Knueppel, chairman and chief executive officer of Regal Beloit, said, "We are very excited to announce the acquisition of CMG. The CMG business is a strong and growing business across the Asia-Pacific Region, South Africa, and the Middle East. This acquisition further expands the infrastructure necessary to significantly expand our commercial efforts in these critical regions. The company has an outstanding management team that has continuously grown the business at a multiple of market growth rates. Given this track record and the opportunities that RBC can bring to CMG, we are very confident that we will see accelerated growth. We have for some time searched for a commercial infrastructure in these important geographical regions that would allow us to leverage our global manufacturing platform. The combination of CMG and Regal Beloit’s Asia Pacific operations creates both a leading commercial and manufacturing footprint and an opportunity to take advantage of significant synergies between the organizations. CMG is a perfect fit to further complete this portion of our globalization strategy."

Jack Gringlas, group managing director and owner of CMG Engineering Group, said, "I am confident that we have found the ideal acquirer for our business. RBC will provide the best platform to secure the future of the CMG business and its team of experienced and dedicated staff. I will be continuing with CMG in the role of group managing director. I am extremely excited about the future of CMG as a result of this sale."

Badger Meter acquires Arizona companies

Badger Meter Inc. announced it has purchased Cox Instruments LLC of Scottsdale, Ariz., and its subsidiary, Flow Dynamics Inc.

Cox Instruments and Flow Dynamics manufacture and market precision high-performance flow meters that are used in demanding applications such as aerospace, custody transfer and flow measurement calibration test stands. The combined 2009 sales for both companies were approximately $5.4 million.

According to Richard Meeusen, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Badger Meter, the acquisition of Cox Instruments and Flow Dynamics gives Badger Meter several new flow measurement technologies.

"We believe that Cox’s high-end turbine meters for industrial and precision flow applications are a good fit for Badger Meter. Integrating these products with our existing flow measurement portfolio will open new market opportunities for us, while effectively leveraging the customer base of both companies. Cox has an excellent reputation in the industry and will be a great addition to Badger Meter’s line of global flow measurement solutions," Meeusen said.

Meeusen said Badger Meter will merge the two entities into a wholly-owned subsidiary of Badger Meter to be named Cox Flow Measurement Inc. The Cox management team will remain with the company.

Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

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