SCHOPFLOCH, GERMANY - HOMAG Group says it has acquired full ownership of Stiles Machinery, effective Feb. 3, 2014.
"This measure allows us to benefit directly from the anticipated re-industrialization in the U.S. in which we will now play a role on account of our direct market access,” said HOMAG Group CEO Dr. Markus Flik.
Homag, based in Schopfloch, Germany, says Stiles has 35% market share of machines and production lines for the U.S. woodworking industry. With 290 employees, Stiles Machinery, Inc. generated $158 million revenue in 2013 - a 22% increase over 2012.
Homag, which is the largest global producer of plant and machinery for wood manufacturing and cabinetmaking, took ownership of Stiles Machinery by increasing its share in the voting capital from 26.7 to 100 percent. The Grand Rapids, MI-based Stiles Machinery distribution and service company sells and supports much of Homag Group's equipment. Homag says it first invested in Stiles in 1992.
The majority interest in Stiles had been held by Peter Kleinschmidt, who has headed Stiles Machinery for 39 years. Kleinschmidt will retire February 15 from the active business, though he will continue involvement as a member of the supervisory board of Stiles. Kleinschmidt was named a Wood Industry Market Leader in December 2013.
"I have been cooperating closely with the HOMAG Group for more than 30 years," says Kleinschmidt. "It is the ideal partner to write the next chapter in Stiles’ success story.” Succeeding Kleinschmidt will be Christian Vollmers, who is also president of Homag Canada.
The transition will be transparent to Stiles Machinery customers, says Steve Waltman, VP sales & marketing. The company will continue to do business as Stiles Machinery Inc., and "all the operations will stay the same," Waltman says, noting Homag Canada will operate fully independently from Stiles.
"For the industry, outwardly and visibly, things will be unchanged," Waltman says. Since Homag was already a stockholder, "What this does is bring those resources closer to home. We now have access to Homag's team in Schopfloch."
“Within our industry, the U.S. is one of the dynamic markets with growth opportunities and is for us of strategic importance," said Dr. Flik. "As market leader in the U.S., we are acquiring the leading distribution and service organization in this industry."
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