October 7, 2008


Cortland Companies sold to Wis. Firm

Industrial group Actuant Corp. will pay $230M for Cortland Cable, 3 other companies

Staff Reporter

Wisconsin-based industrial group Actuant Corp. announced Friday that it has purchased Cortland Companies, a group of manufacturing companies that includes Cortland-based Cortland Cable Company, for $230 million from the Cortec Group.
Cortland Companies is composed of Cortland Cable Company, Sanlo Inc., Cortland Fibron BX Limited and Cortland Puget Sound Rope.
The companies manufacture different types of wires, ropes and cables used in land, sea and aerospace applications.
The Cortec Group is a New York City-based private equity investment group that purchased Cortland Companies in April 2007.
Actuant Corp. is a $1.7 billion diversified industrial company that is headquartered in Butler, Wis.
Karen Bauer, director of investor relations for Actuant Corp., said Actuant Corp. does not expect this purchase to change employment figures at Cortland Companies or the location where the products are made because Cortland Companies’ product line is new to Actuant Corp.
That product line includes custom-engineered electro-mechanical cables and umbilicals, high performance synthetic ropes and value-added steel cable and assemblies, according to Cortland Companies’ Web site.
“At least in the short term to medium term there will be no significant change to the manufacturing facilities,” Bauer said.
“This was an acquisition based on growth for Actuant, not on cost cutting, so I would not expect there to be much change in employment figures and such.”
Cortland Cable is on River Street in Cortland; Sanlo Inc. is based in Michigan City, Ind.; Cortland Fibron BX Limited is based in England; and Cortland Puget Sound Rope is based in Anacortes, Wash. Cortland Cable has 110 employees, according to its Web site.
A funding bill was approved on Sept. 24 that will direct $800,000 to Cortland Cable to renew a contract the company has to create a new flex hose for the Navy’s MK48 Torpedo.
Bauer said Cortec Group worked with an investment banking company called Harris Williams and Co. to find a buyer for Cortland Companies. Cortec Group and Harris Williams and Co. then approached Actuant and other companies, and Actuant took interest in Cortland Companies’ product lines.
Bauer said the work that Cortland Cable does in the offshore oil and gas market were complementary to some of the work that Actuant does through a company it owns called Hydratight.
John Stidd, chief executive officer of Cortland Cable, said Cortland Companies went to Cortec Group 17 months ago as part of an exit strategy that “puts the company on solid footing for the future.”
He explained that selling Cortland Companies to Cortec Group became necessary as many of Cortland Companies’ shareholders were getting older and wanted to sell their equity in the company.
Under the ownership of Actuant, Stidd said that there will be no changes to manufacturing at Cortland Companies.
“The only changes in the manufacturing will be to add capacity and streamline the manufacturing to make it more efficient,” Stidd said.
Stidd said he was pleased with Cortec’s decision to sell Cortland Companies to Actuant.
Bauer said that now Sanlo Inc. will report to Actuant’s actuation systems segment, and Cortland Cable, Cortland Fibron BX Limited and Cortland Puget Sound Rope will report to Actuant’s industrial segment.
According to Actuant Corp.’s Web site, the industrial systems segment includes businesses that specialize in “hydraulic tools as well as joint integrity products and services for the oil and gas and power generation markets.” The actuation systems segment includes “position and motion control systems for niche end markets such as convertible automobiles, recreational vehicles (RVs) and heavy-duty trucks.”


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