Stellex Capital Management has entered into an agreement to sell Morbark LLC to Alamo Group Inc. for $352 million.

Stellex Capital Management, a middle-market private equity firm with offices in New York and London, has announced it has entered into an agreement to sell Morbark LLC to Seguin, Texas-based Alamo Group Inc. for $352 million.

Founded in 1957 and based in Winn, Michigan, with subsidiary operations in Wooster, Ohio, and Roxton Falls, Québec, Morbark has been a manufacturer of equipment and aftermarket parts for forestry, tree maintenance, biomass, land management and recycling applications for more than six decades. Morbark’s family of companies manufactures mobile equipment and aftermarket parts used for clearing and grinding/chipping and converting trees, wood and related organic waste in maintenance and recycling applications. The company and its affiliate brands produce a full line of brush chippers, stump cutters, mini skid steers, forestry mulchers, aerial trimmers, whole tree and biomass chippers, flails, horizontal and tub grinders, sawmill equipment, material handling systems and mulcher head attachments for excavators, backhoes and skid steers.

“Our investment in Morbark demonstrates our ability to rapidly transform family-run industrial equipment businesses into best-in-class providers within their industry,” David Waxman, managing director at Stellex Capital, says. “We would like to thank the Morbark team for their strategic vision, dedication and execution over these past 3 1/2 years. We are very proud to have worked alongside them transforming Morbark into a leading provider of mobile industrial equipment and believe the company is well-positioned to continue to capitalize on the strong market tailwinds within biomass recycling and tree care maintenance.”

Since Stellex’s acquisition in 2016, Morbark has increased its headcount by over 200 employees, revenue has nearly doubled and EBITDA has increased over 200 percent, the company says. Additionally, Morbark successfully completed two add-on acquisitions to expand its product offerings and geographic presence. In October 2017, Morbark acquired Rayco Manufacturing, a Wooster-based manufacturer of stump cutters, crawler trucks, forestry mulchers, multi-tool carriers, brush chipper and aerial trimmers. In December 2018, Morbark acquired Denis Cimaf, a Roxton Falls-based manufacturer of industrial brush cutters and mulchers.

“We would like to thank Stellex for recognizing Morbark’s potential and investing both time and capital in order for us to achieve our strategic vision,” Dave Herr, CEO of Morbark, says. “Together with Stellex, Morbark has greatly enhanced operations, implementing lean initiatives and best-in-class manufacturing practices that have resulted in new and improved product redesigns, significant reduction in lead times and improved delivery performance. We are grateful for our time working with Stellex and look forward to this next chapter as part of Alamo, an ideal suitor given its operating philosophy that will allow us to maintain our brands, operations and successful momentum while further enhancing various operational synergies and accelerating international growth.”

Baird, Milwaukee, served as exclusive financial advisor, and DLA Piper, London, served as legal counsel to Stellex and Morbark with respect to the transaction.

The McDonald’s Plaza office building, which served as the Oak Brook, Illinois-based former world headquarters to McDonald’s Corp. after being opened in 1971, has begun to be demolished, the Chicago Tribune reports.

A permit was issued Aug. 22 to Chicago-based Heneghan Wrecking Company Inc. to perform the demolition work.

Hines, a global real estate investment and development firm based in Houston, purchased the property for $24 million after McDonald’s moved its headquarters to Chicago in 2018.

The demolition, which is expected to take 1 ½ months, will make way for a $500 million multi-use development project that will include restaurants, retail and office space, condominiums and apartments, and green space.

According to Chicago Construction News, Heneghan Wrecking Company Inc. has already erected fencing, removed asbestos, and brought in heavy machinery.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and Kamphuis Pipeline Company, based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, have reached a settlement agreement that the excavating company will cease business operations and pay penalties of $509,071 for willful and serious violations of OSHA’s trenching and excavation standards.

The agreement, approved by Judge Patrick B. Augustine of the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission in Denver, Colorado, resolves three OSHA inspections conducted at Kamphuis Pipeline Company worksites in September and October 2017. Investigators found that the company repeatedly exposed employees to trench cave-in hazards while workers installed water metering pits and lines. The company also failed to follow other requirements for working safely in trenches and excavations.

The settlement agreement requires Kamphuis Pipeline Company to pay the penalties, voluntarily terminate all operations and dissolve the company’s corporate status in South Dakota. Company owner and founder Daniel J. Kamphuis agreed to surrender his North Dakota contractor license. Both he and the company also agreed not to have any ownership or managerial interest in any construction business conducting trenching and excavation activities within the U.S. in the future. They may engage in such activities in other capacities but must notify OSHA and take appropriate training if they intend to resume such work.

"Workers in trenches must be protected to prevent deadly consequences," says Loren Sweatt, the principal deputy assistant secretary for OSHA. "This agreement demonstrates employers must take their responsibilities under the law seriously to protect workers."

"This agreement sends a message that companies that want to do business in the trenching and excavation industry must operate safely and protect employees on the jobsite," says Acting OSHA Regional Administrator Rita Lucero of Denver.

OSHA offers compliance assistance resources on safe practices for trenching and excavation on its website.

Prices fell 0.6 percent in August and are down 0.9 percent year over year, according to an ABC analysis.

Construction input prices fell 0.6 percent in August and are down 0.9 percent year over year, according to a recent Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Producer Price Index data. Nonresidential construction input prices fell 0.4 percent for the month and are down 0.4 percent compared to August 2018.

Among the seven subcategories experiencing a decline in prices during the past year, the greatest declines were in energy-related categories like natural gas (-33.3 percent), unprocessed energy materials (-19.1 percent) and crude petroleum (-15.7 percent). Three other subcategories registered year-over-year declines greater than 10 percent: softwood lumber (-11.7 percent), iron and steel (-10.7 percent) and steel mill products (-10.6 percent).

“While there are a number of conceivable explanations for the decline in materials prices—including a weakening global economy—the degree to which each factor is responsible remains unclear,” says ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu. “The International Monetary Fund has revised its 2019 global growth outlook down four times in recent months as Latin American economies continue to stumble, and Turkey, Italy, South Africa, Germany, Russia and South Korea are flirting with or entering a recession. In addition, ongoing trade disputes continue to interrupt supply chains and delay large-scale investments in a variety of industrial facilities.

“A strong U.S. dollar is another factor that may have conceivably helped keep a lid on key import prices. Another is the ongoing shale revolution, which has positioned America for leadership positions in the production of both oil and natural gas. All of these factors are associated with a surprising lack of materials price inflation at a time of significant activity in the nation’s nonresidential construction segment—a segment that remains associated with lengthy backlog and ongoing hiring.

“There are still additional potential explanations. While contractors remain generally busy, construction spending growth is not expanding as rapidly as it had been earlier in the business cycle. This has been especially true with respect to private construction spending. Innovation and adaptability have also played a role as producers have quickly adjusted to shifting global trade patterns through the utilization of flexible supply chains and emerging substitute materials.”

UniCarriers Americas (UCA), Marengo, Illinois, has announced the launch of its BXC65 four-wheel, cushion tire electric forklift. The new BXC65, an extension of the BX series, has a capacity of 6,500 pounds.

The new BXC65 offers reliable, high-performance AC technology, including 100 percent AC motor and hydraulic systems, the company says in a news release. To reduce downtime, the BXC65 features onboard diagnostics delivering immediate truck status. Offering fast acceleration, travel and lift speeds, the BXC65 is engineered to deliver greater productivity in the most demanding applications.

Operator conveniences include a high visibility carriage, a five-piece overhead guard that takes 75 percent less time to make overhead guard leg replacements and a full suspension seat with lumbar support for maximum ergonomic comfort. A single handle control lever comes standard on the BXC65 for faster and easier functionality.

The BXC65 offers optional features including cloth and vinyl swivel seats, a 60-millimeter raised overhead guard required for swivel seats (also available as a standalone option) and a bottler’s tilt with an eight-degree forward and five-degree backward angle. A pallet attachment is also available as a custom order modification. The attachment allows the operator to move one pallet at a time or two at once, allowing for fewer trips and greater efficiency.

Cnc Machining Mobile Spare Parts

“We knew we needed a product like the BXC65 to fulfill customers’ needs, and we are excited about what it has to offer,” says Mark Porwit, director of corporate planning for UniCarriers Americas. “We are actively listening to our dealers and customers, so that we are able to develop products they can depend on for ultimate reliability and performance.”

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