Ward Leonard Acquired

Fairbanks Morse takes control of motor aftermarket services company

Ward Leonard, the industrial motor service company, has been acquired by Fairbanks Morse, a Beloit, Wisc. manufacturer. The acquisition is aimed to bolster Fairbanks’ military applications, and is not expected to affect any of Ward Leonard’s workforce, which includes 150 employees based in Connecticut. In addition to that operating center, the company also has affiliated locations in Texas and Louisiana that Fairbanks Morse will not acquire. Fairbanks Morse will retain the Ward Leonard name.

The move “will expand the scope of power and propulsion equipment and aftermarket services that Fairbanks Morse provides to its core customers, including the U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard and the Canadian Coast Guard,” the company said in a January 5 press release.

Both companies have rich histories dating back to the late 1800s. For Ward Leonard, it all began in 1891, in Cincinnati, when company namesake H. Ward Leonard invented the electric-motor speed control system (called the Ward Leonard System) that would ultimately transform modern electrical distribution. Ward Leonard offers a core set of electric motors and control systems that are used in many applications for the U.S. Navy, and is a name associated with powering heavy industry and defense. The company played a key role in the development of electrical equipment such as motor controllers, generators, motors, and related rotary and linear electrical, electro-mechanical, and mechanical equipment for use in some of the most extreme environments on earth over its lifespan.

“Through our engineering expertise and industry-leading maintenance and repair services, Ward Leonard has built a strong reputation by focusing on reducing total system costs and mitigating risks for our military customers,” said Jon Carter, owner and CEO of Ward Leonard. “We were impressed with the speed, efficiency and professionalism of both the Fairbanks and Arcline teams in working towards a closing. This move will provide additional support for our customers by increasing their access to OEM products and support through Fairbanks Morse’s waterfront field service presence.”

Fairbanks Morse has been the OEM of its engines since its founding. It is also the principal supplier of diesel engines to the Navy, Coast Guard and others. 100% of manufacturing is conducted in its U.S.-based facility in Beloit, Wis., while aftermarket parts and services are delivered through a network of service centers around the country.

“The acquisition of Ward Leonard expands the Fairbanks Morse product portfolio into complementary technologies, positioning us to serve as a power systems integrator to the U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard,” said George Whittier, CEO of Fairbanks Morse. “Like Fairbanks Morse, Ward Leonard has an installed base across virtually every ship class, and we expect to augment its aftermarket parts and services offerings using Fairbanks Morse’s extensive shop and field service capabilities.”

UBS Investment Bank served as financial advisor to Fairbanks Morse and Arcline.

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