This has been a long time coming! Federal Signal Corporation announced after the closing bell on Wall Street yesterday that it has found a buyer for E-One based in Ocala, FL. The purchaser, American Industrial Parters (AIP) is a private equity firm that specializes in investing in medium sized companies. The purchase price was $20 million! Considering the cost of fire apparatus these days, that's not a bad deal. However, E-One lost $25 million last year on Federal Signals books - so dumping off the company at a much lower price might be worth it.
E-one will be the second fire apparatus company purchased by an equity firm. Back in December 2005 American LaFrance was purchased by Patriarch Partners. LaFrance built a new plant in South Carolina and then declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy in January. Just recently, American LaFrance received judicial approval to emerge from bankruptcy. Last week it was announced that the fire truck operations would be moved to Pennsylvania and New York.
Hopefully E-One will be able to improve their operations, cost cutting, and with the incentives package of Ocala, FL, become profitable again.
MARKETWATCH PRESS RELEASE