Published by The Gazette | October 5 2012 | Written by WAYNE HEILMAN
Industrial giant Parker Hannifin Corp. announced Friday that it has agreed to buy Colorado Springs-based Velcon Filters LLC and confirmed it plans to retain all of the aviation fuel filtration equipment manufacturer’s 300 employees and keep Velcon’s headquarters in the Springs.
Terms of the purchase from Houston-based The Sterling Group LP, which acquired Velcon in 2009, were not disclosed. The transaction is subject to approval by the Federal Trade Commission and other regulatory agencies and is scheduled for completion by year’s end, Sterling said.
“We are buying (Velcon) for growth reasons — to expand the business and look for growth opportunities,” said Aidan Gormley, a spokesman at Parker Hannifin’s Cleveland headquarters. “We look for synergies with our other businesses, but we typically buy businesses to grow them, not to consolidate operations. Our practice is to run very decentralized operations. We don’t expect to change employment levels.”
Velcon, which will become part of Parker Hannifin’s Filtration Group, reported $115 million in sales in the year ended Aug. 31, with one third from North America and the remaining two thirds from the rest of the world. While owned by Sterling, Velcon made a series of acquisitions including the Chemflo division of Process Filtration, which makes high-capacity filters and related equipment for the energy and food and beverage industries; Twin Filters BV, a Netherlands-based manufacturer of filtration equipment for the energy and other industries, and Warner Lewis GmbH, a German distributor of Velcon products.
“This acquisition brings us a leadership position in aviation and industrial fuel filtration under the Velcon and Warner Lewis product brands, particularly for aviation fuel which requires specialist expertise and certifications,” Peter Popoff, president of Parker Hannifin’s Filtration Group, said in a press release. “We are also strengthening our offering in process filtration markets such as oil and gas with the addition of the Twin Filter brand. We are excited about the opportunities to combine our strengths and solutions to more customers, markets and geographies.”
Velcon was started as Enfab Inc. in 1953 by Harold Higbee, a tooling engineer, and L.W. Taylor, an industrial engineer. Both founders had extensive experience in the fiberglass industry and their first product was a fiberglass component sold to the U.S. government for the “Mighty Mouse” rocket weapon. Four years of research and development led to the introduction in 1957 of a fiberglass filter for jet fuel. The company became a worldwide leader in replacement jet fuel filtration cartridges and moved its headquarters to the Springs in 1993.
Parker Hannifin reported a record $1.2 billion in profit on $13.1 billion in revenue during the fiscal year ended June 30. The company employs about 60,000 people in 48 countries to manufacture motion and control technologies and systems and provide precision-engineered products used in the mobile, industrial and aerospace markets. Parker Hannifin shares rose $1.14, or 1.4 percent, to $84.41 in light trading Friday on the New York Stock Exchange.