November 29, 2014

Elyria
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Avon company bought for $55M

AVON — Avon Bearings Corp. recently was acquired by an Ann Arbor, Mich.-based company in a transaction worth $55 million that could thrust the local company into the forefront of the growing wind energy market.

Kaydon Corp. announced the deal Monday, saying it plans to continue to operate Avon Bearings as a part of Kaydon for some time to come at the Nagel Road location. However, President and CEO James O’Leary said it is premature to discuss any plans for expansion or additional jobs.

Avon Bearings employs about 100, according to city income tax records. In tax year 2006, the city received more than $62,000 in income tax revenue from the company.

Located in a 12-acre manufacturing complex near the location of the not-yet-constructed Interstate 90 interchange, Avon Bearings produces large diameter bearings used in construction equipment, logging machines, aerial baskets, medical equipment, military vehicles, radar antennas and industrial equipment.

One of the major markets that Kaydon supplies is the rapidly growing wind energy market. The acquisition of Avon Bearings fits with that platform as it is a major manufacturer of specialty ball bearings for wind turbines.
“Wind energy is the fastest-growing source of renewable energy and the acquisition of Avon Bearings compliments our growing wind energy platform,” O’Leary said.

In addition, Avon Bearings will broaden Kaydon’s presence in important offshore crane, construction and steel markets for very large diameter bearings, a statement from Kaydon said.

Avon Mayor Jim Smith said the city did not receive any information about the recent acquisition, but knows the local company has a stellar reputation.

“They are very well known for their engineering quality, and that’s probably the reason why they were bought,” he said. “Plus, they are in a good spot. The property is where the new interchange is going so it is very valuable property.”
County Commissioner Ted Kalo said that the county will offer its support during this transitional period.

“Avon Bearings is a leader in the industry and has an excellent reputation in their field,” he said. “We will be offering our assistance as they make this transition whether it’s possible expansion or the training of future employees.”
The acquisition is expected to add about $30 million to Kaydon’s fiscal 2008 sales.

Contact Lisa Roberson at 653-6268 or lroberson@chroniclet.com