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Reifenhauser buys screw-maker Westland

By: Bill Bregar

December 12, 2012

WICHITA, KAN. (Dec. 12, 3:20 p.m. ET) — Germany-based Reifenhäuser Group, which makes screw and barrels at its Reiloy Metall GmbH division, has purchased Westland Corp. of Wichita, Kan. — its first production in North America.

Reifenhäuser, of Troisdorf, Germany, bought Westland from its president and owner, Dave Larson, in a deal announced Dec. 12.

Terms were not disclosed.

Effective immediately, the company is part of the Reifenhäuser Group, under the name Reiloy Westland Corp, as an independent unit of Reiloy Metall. Larson will continue to run the business as president of Reiloy Westland, remaining in Wichita, where Westland employs 48 people.

The two companies have worked together for seven years, when Westland began making bimetallic barrels from blanks supplied by Reiloy.

Interviewed by phone, Larson said Westland was not on the market. Reifenhäuser was looking to expand in North America and the German company approached Westland, he said.

Larson said joining the German company makes sense, given their past working relationship.

“We can now supply the U.S. market with larger quantities and at the same time, have additional resources for the future,” he said in a press release.

Thomas Porstner, head of the Reiloy global business unit, called the two companies “the perfect match.” In Germany, Reiloy has expertise in producing barrels with induction-heated centrifugal casing, and is the only screw and barrel maker that produces its own metal alloys, used for the surfacing of screw flights, he said.

Wichita brings U.S. screw and barrel production, and will serve as a center for North American engineering and service.

Reifenhäuser Group, a third-generation family-owned business now run by brothers Bernd, Klaus and Ulrich Reifenhäuser, has six business units, including blown and cast film and extrusion coating lines, sheet lines, machines to make strapping tapes and machines for the nonwoven industry. The company was founded in 1911.

Westland was founded in 1969, when Martin Davis, its former chairman, bought the tooling division of CAC Tool from McLinn Inc. The company changed its name to Westland in the late 1980s.

Larson became part owner in 1993. He took over managing the company in 1998 and later became president and sole owner.

The deal for Westland marks another ownership change at a U.S.-based screw and barrel maker. In mid-2012, Nordson Corp. of Westlake, Ohio, announced it was buying Xaloy Inc., the largest U.S. screw and barrel manufacturer. Xaloy’s headquarters is in New Castle, Pa.