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Wisconsin-based Mayville Engineering Company to purchase Fond du Lac manufacturer

Company will acquire Mid-States Aluminum in $96M deal

Mayville Engineering Company
The headquarters of Wisconisn-based Mayville Engineering Company. Photo courtesy of Mayville Engineering Company

Wisconsin-based Mayville Engineering announced this week that it will acquire Mid-States Aluminum Corp. — the $96 million sale is expected to be completed in the coming months.

Mid-States, based in Fond du Lac, manufactures custom aluminum parts. Mayville, based in Dodge County, is the leading fabricator in the United States and manufactures components for equipment that goes into large vehicles like commercial trucks and construction equipment.

Speaking on Wisconsin Public Radio’s “The Morning Show” on Friday, Mayville Chief Executive Officer Jag Reddy called the purchase of Mid-State “a transformative transaction” for the company.

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Reddy said Mayville’s customers include large manufacturers like John Deere and Oshkosh Corporation. About 90 percent of the components they build are made of steel.

“As many of our customers, the large OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers), continue to electrify their platforms and put batteries on their vehicles … they’re looking to lighten the weight of their vehicles,” Reddy said. And to do so, they’re focusing on shifting components to lighter weight aluminum.

“So lightweighting has become an extremely important tactic for our customers to electrify their platforms, so as a steel fabricator we need to get into lightweigting,” Reddy said. Purchasing Mid-State will give them that capacity. “This makes a perfect marriage.”

Mayville employs 2,300 people at 20 plants. Reddy said 990 of those employees are based in Wisconsin.

Reddy said Mayville executives met with the 250 employees of Mid-States this week to talk to them about the purchase of the company.

“The message we gave to them is they are joining not only a great company, a great Wisconsin company, but also a stable one — but, more importantly, a growing one,” Reddy said. “I’m looking forward to bringing more business to Mid-States and continuing to hire more employees in Fond du Lac.”

But Reddy said Wisconsin’s worker shortage is one of the challenges facing the business. He said of Mayville’s 990 positions in the state, 45 are currently open. He said finding skilled tradespeople, particularly welders, is difficult.

The state has been dealing with an increasing shortage of workers in industries ranging from skilled trades to health care to the service industry. A study released last fall found that trend is likely to continue as Wisconsin’s working population is expected to fall by 130,000 by 2030.

To deal with the shortage, Reddy said the company has in-house training programs to teach workers to move into higher-paid welding positions. They also partner with local technical colleges to try to hire trained students.

But the worker shortage recently led the company to invest in building a new manufacturing facility in Michigan where, Reddy said, there was a large workforce of former autoworkers with skills they needed. And Mayville invested $100 million across its 20 manufacturing plants over the last four years to automate some of its manufacturing process with robotics.

“We have to, otherwise we will continue to struggle to fill some of these positions,” Reddy said. “As much as we want to fill with highly skilled labor, if we are unable to procure these skill sets we have to take another approach, and that’s to invest in automation.”