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New owners take charge at Milwaukee molder Perles Bros.

By: Michael Lauzon

September 26, 2013

Custom injection molder Pereles Bros. Inc. of Milwaukee has new owners that are ready to expand the company.

“We see a real opportunity for us to grow it considerably over the next 10-20 years,” said Steve Iram, the new president, in a phone interview.

Iram and partner Jim Gannon bought the stake formerly held by previous president Ted Muccio and some of the equity held by an employee stock ownership plan. Iram declined to say what percentage of Pereles that he and Gannon hold. Gannon has become a director of Pereles.

“I had been looking to buy a company for a while,” Iram explained. “We were interested in a company like Pereles.”

Pereles serves diverse markets with its 80 employees and 27 injection presses ranging up to 725 tons. Its capabilities include insert molding, overmolding and two-shot molding as well as assembly and inventory management.

Former majority owner Muccio will act as an adviser through March 2014. He might retire after that period.

Iram recently was president of Galland Henning Nopak, a Milwaukee producer of hydraulic and pneumatic cylinders for industrial uses and scrap recycling balers for metal scrap such as generated at canneries. He has a bachelor’s degree from the United States Military Academy at West Point and an MBA from Marquette University. His background includes manufacturing, corporate turnarounds, engineering, product development, supply chain development and sales.

“We’re not like a private equity,” Iram stressed. “We’re not planning to turn the company around and sell it [by a specific target date]. We want to keep the business for the long term.”

Pereles’ key markets are medical, food service, housewares, automotive aftermarket, electrical, power tools and lawn and garden.

“We are committed to building on the excellent foundation that Ted and his team have laid,” added Iram.

Pereles is active in job training and other community service in Milwaukee’s inner city. Its corporate responsibility recently earned it the Central City Business Award from Milwaukee’s The Business Journal.

Last year Pereles partnered into the Chirch Global Manufacturing Network LLC, a McHenry, Ill., organization promoting collaboration between small- and mid-sized companies. Iram said the company will review its participation in the network but it is too early to make a decision.

“Our objective in an ownership transition was to pass Pereles on to individuals who would continue to focus on providing exceptional products and services to our customers while valuing the employees who have contributed to the company’s success,” noted Muccio in a Sept. 25 news release.

Iram and Gannon also formed an equity venture firm, Black Knight Capital LLC, that will be on the lookout for business acquisition opportunities.