Crane Co. acquires Dixie-Narco Inc.
Crane Co. recently purchased all of the capital stock of Dixie-Narco, Inc. for $46 million in cash, from Whirlpool Corp. Dixie-Narco is based in Williston, S.C., where it employs approximately 850 people. Dixie Narco's 2006 sales are estimated to be $165 million.
Brad Ellis, president of Crane Merchandising Systems, said in a prepared statement: "Dixie-Narco is a prestige brand, has great people, and is a leader in innovation, quality and product support. Similarities with Crane Merchandising Systems make Dixie-Narco a complementary fit with our business. This acquisition expands our vending capabilities from our snack, food and coffee focus, and reinforces our position as an industry leader.
"Even though recent market and business conditions have been challenging, Crane is committed to and passionate about the future of vending. Our long-term goal will be to grow the Dixie-Narco business.
"Our strategy will be to blend the engineering talent and intellectual properties of Dixie-Narco, National Vendors and Automatic Products with our payment systems and vending management software technologies to bring meaningful, innovative solutions to the industry."
Ellis said the Dixie Narco business will be maintained as a separate organization with production operations remaining in Williston, S.C.
Dixie-Narco is the fifth business acquisition Crane Co. has made the past year for its merchandising systems division. Others were EMS, CashCode, Telequip and Automatic Products international, ltd.
CMS moves APi work to St. Louis, Mo., adds 100, and opens new
St. Paul, Minn. office
Crane Merchandising Systems (CMS) recently completed the integration of the Automatic Products international, ltd. (APi) production operation into its main operating facility in St. Louis, Mo., launching a new era for the APi business. The integration involved moving the production operation from its former headquarters in St. Paul, Minn., a process that ran from June to mid October.
Tom Glomski, vice president of APi and GPL operations for CMS, said the move marks a renewed commitment to APi. In addition to the new manufacturing operation space in St. Louis, CMS has also leased new office space in St. Paul, Minn. for about 30 APi sales, service, research and development and engineering personnel. Glomski, a 7-year CMS veteran, noted that all of these positions are filled by veteran APi employees.
The move to St. Louis has necessitated the hiring of about 100 new employees in that facility to produce the APi lines, Glomski said. The new manufacturing capability will allow APi to present products in all vend product segments, which marks a new direction for the APi brand. "We will have products for every category," Glomski said. "Now our distributors will be able to offer a product in every category. We are committed to both the direct and indirect channels at CMS."
Pat O'Brien, integration manager for the APi acquisition, noted that CMS was able to free existing space in its main facility to allocate dedicated APi production. The new employees include assembly, fabrication and salaried workers.
The new employees are undergoing training in all facets of fabrication and assembly under CMS's "Operational Excellence" program, which focuses on safety, quality, delivery and cost.
As announced back in June, the benefits of the acquisition include the following:
- The dual distribution strategy of separate, but complementary direct and indirect distribution organizations will enable stronger penetration of market channels, market segments and geographic areas.
- Better value to customers via more choice of products and source of supply and service.
- Ensures the long-term value of the installed APi equipment base.
- Enhances the future value of the operators' business.