Bil-Jax Purchased by French Firm
Brent Hagedorn, director of marketing and national accounts for Bil-Jax, Inc., confirmed Friday, July 25 that the local manufacturer has been purchased by the U.S. subsidiary of the French firm Haulotte Group.
The move could mean new jobs at the Bil-Jax plant in Archbold.
"It all happened relatively quickly," Hagedorn said. The transfer of ownership took place Thursday, July 24.
Haulotte is the third largest manufacturer of aerial work platforms in the world, and number one in Europe; but the company didn’t have a manufacturing facility in the United States.
Bil-Jax has been a leader in niche aerial work platform market, and was looking to expand its product line.
"It was a good fit for the two of us," Hagedorn said.
Haulotte approached Bil-Jax about the deal.
"They came looking for us," he said.
The acquisition of Bil-Jax by Haulotte "creates the strong potential for the expansion of the Bil-Jax product line, our facilities, and most importantly, the creation of new jobs," Hagedorn said in a press release.
"All of this comes as being very promising when most businesses are exporting manufacturing and jobs," he said.
Bil-Jax does have room in the plant for one more production line after things are reorganized. But the company also owns 18 undeveloped acres in the Archbold Industrial Park adjacent to the present building. The building could be expanded relatively easily.
So far there are no definite plans for expansion.
"Both companies are currently developing a comprehensive plan, focusing on the integration of the combined business. Haulotte Group anticipates that this integration will be completed at the end of year 2008," the press release stated.
Hagedorn said some of the reasons Haulotte officials were interested in Bil-Jax included the existing Bil-Jax leadership team, the company’s high-quality work force, access to an additional work force, and 60 years of brand recognition.–Posted July 25, 6:42 pm