LAKE GENEVA, Wis.—Rubber molder and mixer Trostel Ltd. has purchased selected assets of Chicago-Allis Manufacturing Corp., allowing the company to bolster its product lines and expand into new markets.
The acquisition, announced April 26, includes mechanical face seal and rubber molded product lines, intellectual property rights and related equipment at Chicago-Allis' Chicago manufacturing facility. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Trostel didn't purchase the Chicago plant, which is continuing to operate as a going concern, said Matt O'Sullivan, Trostel president and CEO. The facility is slated to shut down by June 30, said Catherine Cerny, Trostel human resources manager.
Equipment related to the purchased lines will be moved to Trostel's Reynosa, Mexico, plant, which produces rubber molded parts for the U.S., European and Mexican markets.
There are 32 remaining employees at the Chicago-Allis plant, and Trostel is talking to the few production workers who have indicated an interest in working for the company in Wisconsin, Cerny said.
Chicago-Allis didn't respond to a request for comment as of press time.
The mechanical face seals and rubber molded product lines are a good fit for Trostel and help support the Lake Geneva-based company's strategic growth initiatives, O'Sullivan said.
The purchase boosts Trostel's capabilities to make products it already specializes in, but also allows it to get into complementary markets Chicago-Allis supplies.
The company's line of high-performance mechanical face seals for demanding environments, for example, gives Trostel the ability to better serve those types of markets, including diesel engines and heavy equipment, O'Sullivan said.
Chicago-Allis also serves the appliance, automotive, recreation vehicle, aerospace, farming equipment and shipbuilding industries.
The Chicago firm's offerings and markets combine well with Trostel's capabilities, creating an opportunity to provide a “higher level of customer service and technical support,” O'Sullivan said. The purchase agreement strengthens Trostel's ability to maximize its technical expertise and offer a broader range of high-quality products to a variety of industry sectors.
“This is a positive step that positions us for future growth,” he said.
O'Sullivan believes the cultures of the two companies help make them a good match, noting that Chicago-Allis—founded in 1889—also had a long history as a family-owned business. Trostel Ltd. was founded in 1952 as a division of Albert Trostel & Sons Co., which started as a leather tannery in 1858.
Trostel is privately owned by the Milwaukee, Wis.-based investment company Everett Smith Group Ltd.
In addition to the Reynosa plant, Trostel houses molded parts manufacturing operations and its Polymer Compounding Division in Whitewater, Wis. The firm, which employs about 350, also has a research and development center at its Lake Geneva headquarters.
The company's rubber parts lines include mechanical face seals, pressure seals, oil seals, rotary seals, vacuum seals, custom shapes and general industrial products. Trostel serves a variety of automotive and industrial applications with its rubber component manufacturing and polymer compounding capabilities.