WOOD DALE, ILL. - A St. Louis holding company, Harbour Group Ltd., is negotiating to acquire auxiliary equipment manufacturer AEC Inc. of Wood Dale, sources close to AEC said. AEC officials recently informed employees and sales representatives about the discussions with Harbour Group, the sources said. An AEC spokesman last week confirmed the company could be sold, but declined to provide any details.
AEC is a full-line supplier of auxiliary equipment to the plastics industry. It employs nearly 1,000 in four business groups: AEC/Application Engineering, which makes chillers, mold-temperature control units and process-water recovery systems; AEC/Nelmor, a supplier of grinders and granulators; robot maker AEC/Application Automation; and AEC/Whitlock, which makes resin conveying systems, dryers and blenders.
Contacted Jan. 12, Gilman King, president and chief executive officer of Delcorp Inc. of New York, which owns AEC, declined to comment.
Harbour Group owns about 40 companies with more than 5,000 employees and sales of more than $500 million. Many of the companies do metal forming or make metalworking machines.
Harbour already owns one plastics machinery company, Sencorp Systems Inc. of Hyannis, Mass., which makes thermoforming, blister-packaging and foam extrusion equipment.
Executives of Harbour and AEC did not return telephone calls for this story. Both firms are privately held.