Wisconsin Manufacturing News

Enzymatic Therapy is sold, biogas takes off in Wisconsin, Koss foresees a difficult holiday season, Bucyrus recognized for its management

Green Bay natural medicine company sold to German pharma firm
Enzymatic Therapy, a Green Bay-based manufacturer of natural medicines, has been sold to Nature’s Way Holding Co., a subsidiary of Dr. Willmar Schwabe Pharmaceuticals, a German firm.

Enzymatic Therapy was formerly owned by North Castle Partners, a private equity firm that invests in healthy living and aging related products. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

The Green Bay company will give Dr. Willmar Schwabe Pharmaceuticals access to the U.S. homeopathic medicine market, said Dr. Dirk Reischig, president and CEO of the German firm.

"Natural health solutions will become increasingly important over the next few decades," he said. "The joined forces of Enzymatic Therapy, Nature’s Way and Schwabe Pharmaceuticals will therefore contribute significantly to consumers in the USA and abroad in achieving the best possible health and quality of life."

Both Enzymatic Therapy and Nature’s Way have about 350 employees, said Randy Rose, Enzymatic Therapy’s CEO. Rose and Rory Mahony, Nature’s Way’s CEO, lead both companies together.

"These are two growing companies and the intent is to accelerate growth by blending customers and becoming a better supplier," Rose said.

Companies plan to build biogas plants in Wisconsin
De Forest, Wis.-based Sanimax and StormFisher Biogas announced a strategic alliance to build eight biogas plants, for a total investment of over $160 million.

The companies said the plants will transform organic byproducts from the food processing industry, restaurants and institutions such as schools into renewable energy and organic fertilizer.

Once operational, the eight plants will offset the carbon dioxide equivalent of 120,000 tons and divert half a million tons of organic byproducts every year, creating enough energy to power 20,000 homes, the organizations said.

Biogas plants naturally decompose matter into nutrient-rich solids and liquids-which can be used to help grow agricultural crops and residential gardens-and into methane, a biological replacement for natural gas.

The plants transform byproducts from food services, the meat and vegetable processing industries, bakeries and dairies into energy.

Effective immediately, the two companies will jointly pursue partnerships with major food processing companies to source this material for its plants, which will be located in the Great Lakes region. The first plant will be located at a site yet to be determined in Wisconsin and will process materials from Sanimax’s De Forest facility, among others. "This alliance completely aligns with what Sanimax has been doing since the 1800s: extending the food supply chain by transforming waste into high-demand goods and sustainable energy," said Jeremy Goodfellow, vice president of energy for Sanimax. "The positive environmental impact of this venture is significant."

"This partnership marks the coming-of-age of North America’s biogas industry," said Ryan Little, vice president of business development for Ontario-based StormFisher. "In Europe, there are more than 5,000 plants like these in operation and, with Sanimax, we’re ready to replicate that success here."

Koss expects ‘difficult’ holiday season
Koss Corp. reported that its fiscal first quarter net income dropped to $913,764, or 25 cents per share, from $1.3 million, or 36 cents per share, in the same period a year ago.

The Milwaukee-based high-fidelity stereophone company said its quarterly sales fell 9 percent to $11.5 million from $12.6 million a year ago.

"The drop in our first quarter sales and net income is the result of soft U.S. retail sales," said Michael Koss, president and chief executive officer of the firm. "We expect difficult trends in the U.S. to continue through the holiday season."

The company also reported that its sales in Europe had increased by 24 percent during the quarter, and the firm is closely monitoring the changing credit environment for its European distributors.

Koss said the company is continuing to invest in new product development and marketing, despite the general market slowdown.

"We believe it is critical to continue our forward progress on several key new products to remain competitive," Koss said.

Bucyrus receives Baird Management Excellence Award
Bucyrus International Inc. is the recipient of this year’s Robert W. Baird & Co. Inc. Management Excellence Award.

The award was presented to Timothy Sullivan, president and chief executive officer of Bucyrus at a luncheon at Pier Wisconsin on Milwaukee’s lakefront.

"Bucyrus International is a world leader in the design and manufacture of high-quality mining equipment," said Paul Purcell, Baird’s chairman, president and CEO. "The company’s innovative products, commitment to reinvesting in its facilities and workforce – at its South Milwaukee headquarters especially – and talented leadership team make it a proven performer."

Created in 1981, the Baird Management Excellence Award recognizes companies that consistently demonstrate superior performance on behalf of customers, employees, shareholders and the communities in which they operate.

Baird selects winners in consultation with officers of the Executive MBA Alumni Association at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Sheldon B. Lubar School of Business. This is the 27th year Baird has presented the award.

Founded in Bucyrus, Ohio, in 1880, Bucyrus moved its headquarters to South Milwaukee in 1893 and earlier this year completed a more than $200 million multi-phase capacity expansion of that facility. The company has more than 6,000 employees worldwide, nearly 60 facilities around the globe and a presence on six continents.

Sullivan joined Bucyrus in June 1976. He has been president since August 2000, and its CEO since March 2004. He earned a bachelor of science degree in business administration from Carroll College and a M.B.A. from American Graduate School of International Management.

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