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Fairbanks Morse acquires Ward Leonard

Written by Nick Blenkey
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Beloit, Wis., headquartered Fairbanks Morse has acquired Thomaston, Conn., based Ward Leonard Operating LLC, a leading provider of motor and control solutions for military applications. The acquisition will expand the scope of power and propulsion equipment and aftermarket services that Fairbanks Morse, a portfolio company of Arcline Investment Management, provides to its core customers, including the U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard and the Canadian Coast Guard.

This latest acquisition by Fairbanks Morse follows that of Houston-based diesel engine repair and rebuilding service provider Breco International Inc., which we reported last month.

Ward Leonard has approximately 150 employees based in Connecticut. In addition to Ward Leonard’s Connecticut operations, 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 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.”

Ward Leonard has supplied the U.S. Navy for more than 125 years and today specializes in the provision of state-of-the-art motors, control components and systems integration solutions for surface, subsurface and land-based applications.

“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.”

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

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