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Columbus McKinnon Buys Material Handling Specialist

March 2, 2014
Supplies automotive Tier 1, 2 Accretive to earnings, FY2015

Columbus McKinnon Corporation, a manufacturer of heavy-duty parts for material handling machinery, completed its takeover of Unified Industries Inc. The Michigan-based company produces overhead light-rail workstations that are particularly important in automotive and similar manufacturing operations.

The value of the purchase was not announced. Columbus McKinnon said the acquisition would contribute to its earnings in FY 2015.

Columbus McKinnon designs and produces handling products for moving, lifting, and positioning materials, including products like hoists, cranes, actuators, and rigging tools. among its subsidiary operations is a closed-die steel forging company, Dixie Industries.

Unified Industries has been privately held since 2005, and supplies Tier 1 and Tier 2 automotive suppliers.

The company was established as a small fixture and gauging shop in Eaton Rapids, Mich., later establishing itself as a producer of patented rail trolleys and bridge cranes. Increasing demand for its material handling equipment led to the introduction of its ETA series of aluminum enclosed track bridge cranes and monorail systems, in 1985. Unified was the first in the industry to offer customers an aluminum track system, using trolleys with high-impact nylon rollers for ease of movement.

"Unified's workstation cranes and light-rail lifting systems are a natural extension of our hoist product portfolio,” explained Timothy T. Tevens, Columbus McKinnon president and CEO. “The combination elevates our ability to deepen relationships with our OEMs through a broader scope of bundled solutions.

“We expect to increase sales of Unified's products by leveraging our extensive sales organization and value-added distribution channels globally,” Tevens added.