Winona-based Peerless Industrial Group to be sold

  • Article by: PATRICK KENNEDY , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 25, 2014 - 8:51 PM

The maker of industrial chains and lifting devices will be acquired by Japan’s KITO Corp.

Peerless Industrial Group, a Winona, Minn.-based maker of industrial chains and related products, has agreed to be acquired by an American subsidiary of Japan’s KITO Corp.

KITO Americas Inc. is paying $80 million to Peerless’ owner, Westview Capital Partners, and will cover about $43 million in debt. The deal is expected to close by the end of August.

“Peerless’ product portfolio integrates well with our core overhead lifting customers and also allows us to diversify our customer base,” Ned Hunter, KITO America’s president and CEO, said in a statement.

KITO makes hoists, cranes and overhead lift equipment and components. KITO America operates the Harrington Hoists Inc. and KITO Canada businesses in North America.

Peerless was founded in 1917 and operates manufacturing sites in Winona, Chicago and Jeannette, Pa., and six distribution centers. It has annual sales of approximately $118 million and net income of $4 million to $5 million.

Westview Capital, a Boston-based private equity firm, has owned Peerless since 2010, when it purchased the company from another private equity group.

Peerless Industrial, through its subsidiaries, employs 405 people, 280 of them in Winona.

“We do not anticipate any changes to employment,” said Barb Breza, vice president of human resources at Peerless. “We are looking to expand and grow and add jobs in the future.”

The company’s senior managers, including President and CEO Tom Wynn, are expected to remain with Peerless.

Patrick Kennedy • 612-673-7926

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