WEST DES MOINES, Iowa—Marubeni Corp. has expanded into the U.S. belting market by purchasing a majority stake in the conveyor belt distribution division of All-State Industries Inc.
One of the largest trading companies in Japan, Marubeni acquired 80 percent of All-State in mid-January. Robert G. Pulver, CEO and founder of All-State, will retain the remaining 20 percent, according to Scott Pulver, All-State director of sales and marketing.
All-State will remain a separate legal entry and not a subsidiary of Marubeni, he said. Its belting operation fits well with Marubeni's conveyor belt distribution strategy, which focuses on importing and distributing products made from natural and synthetic rubber.
Marubeni is looking for All-State, founded in 1975 and headquartered in West Des Moines, to be a platform for U.S. growth and further related investments.
In addition, it wants to build on its investment in Belterra Corp., a wholly owned Canadian conveyor belt distributor the company purchased in 2007. However, Scott Pulver said, there are presently no plans to merge All-State with Belterra and they will continue to operate separately.
Robert Pulver will remain CEO of the business. Tosuke Nakamura, a 25-year veteran of Marubeni, will relocate to the West Des Moines plant and join All-State as vice president and a member of the board.
Nakamura said Marubeni's growth strategy includes "acquisition and partnering opportunities with well-positioned companies like ASB that have superior management teams and a strong customer base."
The purchase puts the Japanese firm in a strong position in one of the most important belting distribution markets globally, he said.
By partnering with Marubeni, "we see an outstanding opportunity to build on ASB's position as one of the largest independent distributors of belting," Robert Pulver said. "Together with Marubeni and Belterra, we expect to use our financial resources and global supply chain capability to accelerate our growth."
All-State, which also molds polyurethane products, primarily serves the grain, mining, fertilizer, seed and material handling equipment industries.