ERJ staff report (TB)
By Bruce Davis, Tire Business staff
Quincy, Illinois -- Titan International Inc. has acquired a Los Angeles-based maker of new tyre and retread moulds and a controlling stake in an Illinois maker of equipment used to make wheels, in order to ensure a steady, reliable source of moulds and wheels for its growing farm and OTR tyre and wheel businesses.
Titan's newest acquisitions are Ohio Machine & Manufacturing Co. Inc. of Los Angeles and Automation International Inc. (AAI) of Danville, Illinois. Titan previously owned the latter from 1991-97.
Terms of the two transactions, which closed in September, were not disclosed. Titan did not day what share of AAI it bought.
Titan Chairman and CEO Maurice Taylor Jr. disclosed the acquisitions during a conference call with financial analysts on 13 Dec, saying both will help Titan accelerate the pace of development in its tire and wheel businesses.
Ohio Machine & Manufacturing, founded in 1940 in Los Angeles to supply the then-expanding tyre industry in California, is focused on making moulds for large and ultra-large OTR tyres and retreads, for tyres ranging in size from 24 to 63 inches in rim diameter, according to Michael Fike, who's heading up the company under Titan's ownership.
Ohio Machine has been dealing with Titan for about five years, Fike said, and has developed some proprietary mould and curing systems for the Quincy-based firm.
Ohio Machine also has a third expertise, he said, designing and making circular moulds for rubber tracks for large agricultural equipment.
Ohio Machine continues under that name for the time being, Fike said, but eventually it will incorporate the Titan name as well.
Ohio Machine is a fully equipped machine shop and steel and aluminum foundry in a 25 000-sq.-ft. facility in the Florence-Graham neighborhood south of downtown Los Angeles.
The company had as many as 35 employees in the past decade but the economic downturn of the past few years has reduced the payroll to just 11, Fike said. The purchase by Titan and the promise of new business should create demand for new hires, though, he said.
Automation International describes itself as a full engineering and manufacturing facility that designs and produces a variety of automated, flexible welding systems and machine automation. It combines the assets of three long-established firms in this business: Berkeley-Davis Co., Federal Welder and Machine Co. and Swift-Ohio Welder Co.
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Article from Tire Business, a Crain publication