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Wednesday, 05 March 2014 22:10

Gill Industries acquires GR Spring & Stamping

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A move to further diversify its business and enhance product offerings led Grand Rapids-based Gill Industries Inc. to acquire GR Spring & Stamping Inc. (GRSS).

The firms announced the transaction on Monday, but talks between the two companies began last fall, said Gill CEO Richard Perreault.

“Gill and GRSS have never been competitors, so we complement each other in our product offerings and our customer base as well,” Perreault said of the strategy behind the deal.

GRSS is a Tier 1 supplier of metal stampings and assemblies for the automotive industry, as well as for the medical, electronics and office furniture sectors. On the other hand, Gill is a supplier of engineered assemblies for the automotive, furniture and multi-use vehicle market.

A number of synergies between the two companies played into Gill's decision to acquire GRSS, Perreault said. Among them were common customers that the manufacturers shared in Asia, as well as North American automotive OEMs.

“Already, customers are coming to us and asking to look at future business as a result of the merger of the two companies,” Perreault said. “(It’s) business that we would not have access to separately, but combined we get to a size that the OEMs feel more comfortable throwing better and more sizable (opportunities) to a company our size.”

The companies have a total of about 1,500 employees across their combined global operations in the U.S., Mexico, India and other parts of Asia, Perreault told MiBiz. The combination affects three manufacturing operations in greater Grand Rapids, but Perreault declined to provide a breakdown of the overall West Michigan headcount.

GRSS employed 375 people in West Michigan as of last year, according to MiBiz records.

“We are both growing companies and we feel that by merging the two companies, we are gaining capacity that our customers are requiring,” Perreault said. “(Creating opportunities) was the main reason to do this merger.”

There are no current plans for changes in terms of real estate or capital equipment, he said.

The merger of Gill and GRSS comes when stamping companies and those involved in the metal side of the auto supply chain are optimistic about business. According to a January survey by the Precision Metalforming Association, an industry trade association, 46 percent of respondents “predict that economic activity will improve over the next three months.” That figure was up 5 percent from December.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Each firm had annual revenues of more than $100 million, said Perreault, who noted that he sees plenty of room for continued growth in the booming automotive supply chain.

“We are focusing over the next year or two on the integration of these two companies,” Perreault said. “That’s not saying that if there is an (acquisition) opportunity knocking on our door that we will not look at it. But our focus is making sure we have success merging these two companies.”

Read 15486 times Last modified on Thursday, 06 March 2014 23:50

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