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Japanese company buys majority of MGK

  • Article by: DAVID SHAFFER
  • Star Tribune
  • December 18, 2012 - 9:20 PM

Minnesota-based insect-control company MGK said Tuesday that a Japanese chemical maker has acquired a majority stake.

Sumitomo Chemical of Tokyo, a longtime shareholder, said it now owns 76 percent of MGK, up from nearly 33 percent, after acquiring shares from members of the Gullickson family, whose ancestors founded the company in 1902.

The terms of the purchase were not disclosed.

MGK has headquarters in Golden Valley and a manufacturing plant in Chaska that together employ 105 people, said Ian Thorburn, MGK's marketing director. The rest of the company's 250 employees are in other countries, he said.

The company sells insect-control products to consumers and professionals in more than 60 countries.

Sumitomo, a chemical and life sciences company with 2011 sales of $24 billion, has been an MGK shareholder since 1989, the companies said.

MGK President Steve Gullickson will remain in his job and the company will become a Minnesota-based subsidiary of Sumitomo, the companies said.

"MGK has been a growing and profitable venture for many years, and Sumitomo Chemical's increased participation gives us continued access to new chemistries and new technologies for insect control," Gullickson said in a press release.

The Gullickson family remains a minority shareholder in MGK, the company said.

"North America is one of the most important markets for household and public health insect-control products and is of vital importance to Sumitomo Chemical's global environmental health business sector," Sumitomo Executive Officer Ryo Sato said in a statement.

David Shaffer • 612-673-7090 Twitter: @ShafferStrib

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