Elgi buys repair materials maker Western Weld

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By Bruce Davis, Tire Business staff

LULING, Texas (April 14, 2014) — Elgi Rubber Co. L.L.C., the Luling-based subsidiary of India’s Elgi Rubber International Ltd., has acquired Western States Manufacturing Co., a producer of tire repair materials under the Western Weld brand name.

The acquisition brings both manufacturing and distribution assets to Elgi, the company said, and the combined company will look to expand distribution of the Western Weld brand through the existing Elgi network and Elgi products through Western States distribution network, accordding to R.W. Mohler, president of Elgi Rubber.

Western States President James Levich will work through June to help the transition, and General Manager Kerry Bresswi will continue to work for Elgi.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. The Western Weld dealer network gives Elgi several hundred points of additional distribution throughout North America, Mr. Mohler said.

Sioux City, Iowa-Western States has been a tire repair materials supplier since 1924. Its portfolio also includes equipment and valve hardware.

This is Elgi’s second purchase in the past 18 months. In fall 2012 Elgi bought Midwest Rubber Manufacturing Inc. of Stoughton, Wis., a producer of liquids, calendered and extruded rubber used for repairing and retreading tires.

Midwest Rubber, founded in 1926 in Milwaukee by the Nitzche family, was considered a pioneer in producing tire repair materials, holding early patents on patch/plug combinations and other repair products, Elgi said. It moved to Stoughton in 1972, and expanded into retreading consumables.

Financial terms of that deal were not disclosed. Midwest President Roger Nitzsche and Secretary/Treasurer David Skavlen opted not to continue under Elgi’s ownershp and retired. Mr. Nitszche was a part owner of the firm through his family’s holdings.

In addition, Mr. Mohler said Elgi Rubber is in the process of merging its Luling-based subsidiaries Elgi Rubber Co. and Treadsdirect L.L.C. into one entity, Elgi Rubber Co. L.L.C.

Historically Treadsdirect has been focused on the retreading segment and Elgi on the automotive aftermarket, he added. Elgi established its American manufacturing base in 2009 with the purchase of Durol Western in Luling.

That facility continues to produce repair products and is the firm’s primary distribution warehouse as well as headquarters.


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