With recent acquisition, Oilgear is bullish on 2010 prospects

Orders and inquiries beginning to rebound, CEO says

The Oilgear Company, a Milwaukee-based designer and manufacturer of hydraulic components and systems used in the industrial, mining and energy exploration markets, has seen a rebound in orders for its parts and components over the last several months.

“It’s getting better. The trends, one would say, are increasing in our business and inquiries,” said Richard Armbrust, president and CEO of the company. “We’re cautiously optimistic.”

Oilgear now has about 900 employees around the globe. While its total employment has fallen over the last 18 months, it is significantly higher than it was in 2007, when the company had about 700 workers.

Part of the increase is two acquisitions the company has made during the recession. Oilgear acquired Clover Industries, based in Wausau, in December, 2009, and Olmsted Products based in Traverse City, Mich., in November, 2008. The company would not disclose terms of either acquisition.

Clover Industries is a manufacturer of cylinders, piston accumulators and intensifiers for the oil and gas, military, industrial, construction and civil markets. Oilgear believes it will see additional growth in 2010 by adding the company’s products to its existing offerings, Armbrust said.

“When you look at the markets they’re in, their products fit nicely in with who we are,” he said. “We’re quite optimistic about the cylinder business. The acquisition of these two companies will allow us to expand our product offerings to better serve our global customers in our core markets.”

Through the Great Recession, Oilgear’s domestic and European orders have fallen off dramatically. But the company has found increasing opportunities for sales in Asian markets, Armbrust said.

“We’ve spent a great deal of time capturing business in these markets and we’ve been quite successful,” he said.


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