U.S. auxiliary equipment maker ACS Group has purchased dryer maker Walton/ Stout Inc. in a move that will expand ACS' product line and position it for the economy's recovery.
The deal was announced May 19. Terms were not disclosed.
ACS, based in Schaumburg, Ill., plans to move Walton/Stout's production from its Lithonia, Ga., headquarters factory to ACS' recently revamped facility in New Berlin, Wis. ACS officials said they are particularly interested in Walton/Stout's large drying systems and crystallizers for the PET sheet and fiber market.
What drove us is really to get a larger foothold in the PET market, said ACS President and CEO Tom Breslin, in a May 20 interview at the Chinaplas 2009 trade show in Guangzhou. It is a very difficult time in the industry today, and for our company, we see this as a good time to position ourselves for the comeback ... to invest in the business and expand our product portfolio and manufacturing capability.
The addition of Walton/Stout's product line also adds to ACS' products for compounding and recycling.
Breslin said ACS has enough manufacturing capacity and experience to make Walton/Stout's equipment in New Berlin, but some key employees of the firm's 40-person Lithonia operaton will be offered ACS positions.
The firms have had a long-standing business relationship, with ACS buying equipment from Walton/Stout for its systems, including larger dryers like a 4,000-cubic-foot-per-minute model.
Bill Desrosiers, ACS vice president of international sales and marketing, said the firm has spent the past three years building standardized internal systems at all of its global factories and is now ready to expand its business.
ACS also recently finished a $3 million upgrade of its China plant, in Suzhou, installing 20 machining centers, welding and sheet metal lines that give it substantial abilities to manufacture more of its equipment there.
The firm, which is seeing strong growth in China and India, sold several machines off the show floor at Chinaplas, Breslin said.